Arsenal will face lengthy Champions League exile if key pairing leave this summer

The Arsenal supporters were delighted in the Transfer Tavern last night after they secured their place in the quarter-final of the Europa League with a 5-1 aggregate victory over AC Milan at The Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners welcomed the Rossoneri to North-London last night for the second leg of their last-sixteen tie in the Europa League. Having lost the first leg 2-0, the pressure was on Milan to chase the game, and they were rewarded for their positive start after 35 minutes as Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring with a phenomenal strike from 30-yards out to send the travelling Italian contingent into raptures.

However, their ecstasy was short-lived, as Danny Welbeck won his side a dubious penalty and stepped up to convert Arsenal’s equaliser just 4 minutes later. Second-half goals from Xhaka and then Welbeck once again sealed the tie for Arsenal and enabled them to take a step closer towards clinching a trophy this season.

The result had the resident Gunners lining up our bar in an extremely buoyant mood last night, but reports emerging Aaron Ramsey’s future this morning have served to dampen their spirits. According to The Daily Mirror, Chelsea are interested in making a bid for Aaron Ramsey this summer when he enters the final year of his contract.

Following another season of stagnation, or even regression for Arsenal, losing Ramsey to a fellow Premier League rival would be a bitter blow to take, but the Welsh international might not be the only centre-midfielder to depart The Emirates this summer. The future of Jack Wilshere remains unclear as no official confirmation regarding his contract situation has been made by either the player or club in recent weeks.

What is for certain is that Wilshere will become a free agent this summer if he doesn’t sign a new contract with the club, and according to further reports in The Daily Mirror there is reason to believe that he his contract will expire at the end of June. The report claims that Wilshere’s wage demands exceed that which Arsenal are willing to offer.

Both of these reports make for grim viewing for Arsenal supporters, as the two aforementioned players are both quality talents who possess the ability to help Arsenal to return to the top-four next season. Arsenal certainly need to rebuild certain areas of their squad, but that does not imply that they should allow top players such as Wilshere and Ramsey to leave the club.

Arsenal have a huge task on their hands in attempting to return to the elite of English football next season, so they should offer both Wilshere and Ramsey lucrative contract extensions this summer in a bid to persuade them to continue their careers with the North-London club, otherwise their exile from the Champions League could become a long-term reality rather than a temporary blip.

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