Jack Wilshere Says Arsenal Should Make Aaron Ramsey Captain Amid Exit Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2018

Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (R) gets away from West Ham United's English midfielder Jack Wilshere (L) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in London on August 25, 2018. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere believes the club should be looking to Aaron Ramsey as a future club captain amid speculation he is set to leave the Emirates Stadium.

Ramsey's contract with the Gunners is poised to run out at the end of the season, and it's been reported that Arsenal withdrew their offer of an extension, setting up either a January exit or a move at the end of the campaign.

Wilshere, who is now at West Ham United, spoke to the Islington Gazette and said he thinks Arsenal should be looking to build a team around Ramsey instead of letting him leave (h/t Chris Burton of Goal):

"[Ramsey has] grown up to be a great player with Arsenal. They could do with someone like him. We know what he can do for the club.

"For me he's a future Arsenal captain. I know he loves the club. It's difficult for me to comment on because I'm not there but I do know he's a great player—if it was me I know I would want to keep him around."

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Jack Wilshere of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on August 25, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

There have been a number of sides linked with moves for Ramsey.

James Olley of the Evening Standard reported that both Liverpool and Manchester United are admirers of the midfielder, while a trio of Serie A sides—AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus—are also said to be keeping an eye on the situation.

If Arsenal were to sell Ramsey in January, they would at least be able to bring in some funds for a player who has been with the club since 2008.

However, the 27-year-old has said he would like to stay at Arsenal until the end of the season, per Sky Sports Premier League:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

"I am going to do my best now this season to try and achieve something special." Aaron Ramsey plans to stay at Arsenal this season and not make a cut-price January move after the collapse of contract talks. 📲 https://t.co/HpnhbuskjJ https://t.co/hkEH9bVh6S

When Wilshere and Ramsey were youngsters, Arsenal supporters would have envisaged the pair would be the club's first-choice central-midfield pairing in their peak years. However, the former left upon the expiration of his contract last summer, and the latter looks set to follow suit.

Ramsey has been a crucial player for Arsenal in recent years, fulfilling numerous roles in midfield and troubling opposition defences with his bursts into the penalty area.

He has been one of the team's most consistent goalscorers throughout his time at the Emirates Stadium, and he was productive again last term:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Aaron Ramsey: Only Alexandre Lacazette (18) had a direct hand in more goals of all Arsenal players than @aaronramsey (15 -- 7 goals, 8 assists) in the Premier League last season For more player stats -- https://t.co/BkXm3w9MXo https://t.co/ZwMCsp1jfd

He has already laid on three assists in the Premier League this season, and he has scored one goal. That came against Fulham, as Ramsey started and finished a brilliant team move, helping the Gunners record a 5-1 win—their ninth victory in a row.

There doesn't appear to be any danger of Ramsey taking his foot off the gas in what may be his final months as an Arsenal player. Still, the prospect of him captaining the side this season and beyond feels unlikely.