According to David Ornstein of BBC Sport, Arsenal’s joint-main priority this summer is signing a replacement for Aaron Ramsey. But does Emile Smith Rowe not deserve a crack at the job?
Aaron Ramsey will leave Arsenal this summer, having signed a bumper new deal at Juventus. He deserves the move. He has been a sensational player. But his absence leaves a major hole in the midfield, one that will need to be filled if Unai Emery is to continue his rebuild next season.
But is it one that has to be addressed in the transfer window? Is there not a way to fill the Ramsey-shaped abyss in central midfield without spending a precious £30 million which could be invaluable at other positions that aren’t in need of investment just to stand still?
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Well, I think there might be, although that is not reportedly what Arsenal are set to do. According to David Ornstein of BBC Sport, who is excellently tuned-in with the goings on at London Colney, a Ramsey replacement is seen as one of the top two priorities of this upcoming summer window.
Writing in a piece in which he details the many anticipated moves of the top six in the Premier League, Ornstein states:
“Their priorities are a central defender and box-to-box midfielder <…> The midfielder will replace the outgoing Aaron Ramsey. Arsenal came close to a deal for PSG midfielder Christopher Nkunku in January, while Adrien Rabiot is another they’ve pursued in the past – but I’ve not heard that either are targets this time round.”
Although he does not go as far as to name who they might target, he does name the position as a key need for the team. But I am not so sure that a Ramsey replacement need be one of the two main priorities.
In the same piece, Ornstein writes about Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the back-up striker role at Liverpool. In it, he states that Liverpool do need a reserve centre-forward with Daniel Sturridge departing and Divock Origi covering wide positions. But he also claims that Klopp is a major fan of 19-year-old Rhian Brewster and is willing to trust him in this role. That got me thinking: Why could Arsenal use the same logic with Ramsey and his replacement?
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Surely a player of Emile Smith Rowe’s talent deserves a shot at fulfilling the Ramsey role, just Brewster will reportedly be given the opportunity to back up Roberto Firmino? Smith Rowe has made more waves in north London than Brewster has on Merseyside. In his first few appearances, he has looked like a player capable of starting on a more regular basis. So why not provide him with more opportunities?
Smith Rowe has been spending the past six months on loan at RB Leipzig. Sadly, his time has been riddled by injury and his first-team opportunities have been drastically limited. Nevertheless, the talent is still there. Does it not deserve a chance to flourish and grow?
Perhaps signing a Ramsey replacement is that important that it requires signing an experienced and accomplished player. But I would like to see Smith Rowe thrown into the fire. Does he not deserve a crack?