Arsenal were correct to take a toughened stance on Aaron Ramsey's contract negotiations, according to club legend Ian Wright. He agrees with the Gunners' reported decision to withdraw their latest offer to the Welsh ace.
BBC Sport reported Ramsey "looks set to leave" the Emirates Stadium after a decade at the club, having seen the four-year contract that was tabled withdrawn in late September. But Wright, who was appearing on BBC 5 live Sport, said the club is in the right:
He also said:
"We've seen him [Ramsey] in the Euros dominating when he was absolutely fantastic, we've seen the season [2013-14] he has with Arsenal scoring 20-plus goals and was amazing, we've seen he can score in big games, winning cup finals.
"But in respect of a consistent performer for the season, making the difference in the league when he's needed? When was the last time he's done that?
Wright acknowledged 10-year veteran Ramsey as a good player for the club, but the reported £200,000-per-week terms he was said to have been close to signing have been deemed too rich by the club.
Ramsey was benched for a second time this Premier League season in Saturday's 5-1 drubbing of Fulham, but he came on to have an instant impact with a goal and a piece of top-flight history, per Match of the Day:
The Gunners were edging their comeback 2-1 at the time of Ramsey's introduction, but after netting their sensational third moments after entering play, he helped transform Arsenal into a more lethal threat.
It underlined the value that Ramsey—who turns 28 in December—brings to the squad, and another Arsenal icon, Martin Keown, wrote in his Daily Mail column of the message that Saturday sent:
"Aaron Ramsey sent a clear message as he gestured with his outstretched arms in celebration of his wonderful goal at Craven Cottage. This is what you get if you are prepared to pay the money.
"That sensational goal was all of Unai Emery's work coming to fruition. Each player was inspired, brimming with confidence and on top of their game.
"The fans sung 'We've got our Arsenal back,' and they were right to do so. As well as flair, their team displayed a competitive edge and ruthlessness in front of goal that was missing away from home last season."
Opinion has been divided among fans in regards to whether the club plumps to upgrade Ramsey's wages, or let the player leave in 2019—either for free next summer or for a fee in January—and reinvest elsewhere.
One supporter told BBC 5 live Sport his displays send the message his contract must be extended, but presenter Danny Mills questioned whether the funds saved could afford two, or even three replacements:
Youngsters Matteo Guendouzi, 19, and Lucas Torreira, 22, are both excelling well this season but are more defensively inclined and don't have the same playmaking potential.
Ramsey's seeking a big boost in earnings after 10 years in north London, but Wright has said history dictates Arsenal must not bend to the player's wishes and should stick to their guns.