With his current deal set to expire in the summer and a new contract offer no longer on the table, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs including Juventus.
And, according to Sky Sports, it is the Italian giants who are set to win the race for the 28-year-old with an agreement to take him to the Allianz Stadium edging closer.
As a result, Arsenal could now move for Sevilla’s Ever Banega with Mundo Deportivo (via Daily Mirror) reporting the Premier League outfit’s interest in the Argentinian.
How, though, do Ramsey and Banega compare ahead of their potential transfers?
Had it not been for the injuries that have plagued his 10-year spell as an Arsenal player, Ramsey could have gone done as a Premier League midfield great.
As far as off the ball movement and making late runs into the box goes, there are few if any better than him in the division.
With that in mind, the Welshman probably should have been producing better numbers, though he can still be pleased with the contributions he has been able to make in an Arsenal shirt including two FA Cup final winning goals.
For whatever reason, Unai Emery does not appear to be the biggest fan when it comes to Ramsey, handing the Wales international a much lesser role than what he is used to.
Arsenal’s lost, however, will surely prove to be Juventus’ gain if the former Cardiff City man can stay fit while working under Massimiliano Allegri.
TT Grade: A-
Banega may not be a like-for-like replacement for Ramsey, but it is not hard to see the logic behind Emery wanting to bring him to the Emirates.
He is a player Emery knows well from his time as Sevilla and Valencia manager while, overall, the 30-year-old has a skill set that could help bring the best out some of the individuals in this current Arsenal team.
For example, Banega has both the vision and passing range to pick out the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi, who make great runs off the ball.
Compared to Ramsey, the Argentina international is less energetic and a midfielder who looks to creates chances from deep rather than get into the opposition’s box.
If that is the profile of midfielder Emery is desperate for, then it is wise to consider adding the ex-Valencia player to his squad.
TT Grade: B
Banega is definitely someone who could bring much to this Arsenal team and, having worked under Emery before, making the transition from Sevilla to the Gunners should not be too difficult.
Even so, you cannot help feeling the north London club would be much worse off without Ramsey regardless of who is brought in to replace him.
In the box-to-box midfielder, Arsenal have a player capable of popping up with a match-winning goal or creating something with a clever bit of movement or defence-piercing run. The addition of Banega, simply put, cannot make up for that loss.
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