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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 (h/t Chris Burton of Goal) and said he thinks Arsenal should be looking to build a team around Ramsey instead of letting him leave:
“[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.”
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Given Ramsey appears set to switch clubs, there have been a number of sides linked with a possible move for him.
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, then they would at least be able to recoup some funds for a footballer who has been part of the first-team setup for a decade.
However, the 27-year-old has said he would like to stay at the club 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 making up the club’s midfield in their peak years. However, with the former gone and the latter seemingly set to follow, that looks unlikely.
Ramsey has been a crucial player for Arsenal in recent years, fulfilling numerous roles in midfield and troubling opposition defences with his bursts forward 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:
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 for the Gunners, helping them on the way to a 5-1 win and 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 potentially beyond feels unlikely.