Arsenal need to take a stand on Aaron Ramsey's contract demands, insists Ian Wright

The Wales international is set to leave after the Gunners withdrew from talks over an extension

Liam Twomey
Tuesday 09 October 2018 09:38
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Unai Emery plays down Aaron Ramsey's importance to Arsenal as contract talks break down

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has backed his former club’s decision to withdraw from contract talks with Aaron Ramsey despite the threat of the Wales international leaving for nothing next summer.

Ramsey is in the final year of his current deal with the Gunners and is reportedly demanding parity of wages with some of the club’s more recent signings – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are both on around £170,000-a-week – in order to commit to an extension.

Arsenal backed away from a potential four-year agreement with the midfielder in September, and Wright believes they must send a message to the rest of the squad that they will not be forced into paying over the odds to keep their players.

“What I do like about him and what I will always give him credit for, is that he never hides, never ever hides,” Wright told BBC Radio 5live. “No matter what stick he gets, he never hides.

“I have to stick with Arsenal, they have to make this kind of stance, the amount of players we've lost in this fashion. I believe that Arsenal want him to stay, but they have to make this stance.

“I think Arsenal have to do this, they have to make everybody else in the squad know how it's going to be from this day onwards, and that's why the withdrawal of the contract is a big statement. And it's a massive one as we're on the verge of losing another player that's a good player for Arsenal.”

Ramsey scored a brilliant goal in Arsenal's 5-1 win over Fulham

Ramsey, who appeared to send his own message to the Arsenal board with his arms-out celebration after providing an audacious finish to a sensational team move in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage, is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with interested clubs when he enters the final six months of his current deal on January 1.

In his column in The Daily Mail, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown urged the Gunners to do what it takes to keep Ramsey and allow him to cement his place in the club’s history.

“This is a player who has spent a decade with Arsenal, the scorer of winning goals in two FA Cup finals,” Keown said. “He is a role model in the way he works, trains and plays with such drive.

“Should he see out his career at the Emirates, Ramsey will go down as an Arsenal great.

“I understand why he would want to earn the same as the club's recent acquisitions. At 27, this could be his last big contract and it is important for him that he makes the right decision.

“But think of Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri. Too often Arsenal have developed promising players only to sell them.

“I would be immensely disappointed if Ramsey is allowed to leave.”

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