This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott feels that Aaron Ramsey left the club “at the right time” after his free transfer to Juventus last summer.
The Wales international signed a pre-contractual agreement with the Serie A side after being unable to agree to a new deal at the Emirates with a year left on his contract.
Ramsey left north London after a nine-year stint, having signed from Cardiff City in 2008 for £5m.
Elliott, 55, told football.london that the Welshman made the right decision to leave the club.
He said: “They bought him for barely nothing and they have got ten years of services out of him. He is an outstanding talent. I speak to a lot of Arsenal supporters and they were devastated when he left. He went for nothing essentially and that’s to Juventus’ benefit.
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“Aaron Ramsey is a modern-day top-class midfield player. He is all over the pitch and scores goals. He does the ugly things in football, technically he is very proficient and he will always get you goals. He is a fantastic acquisition for Juventus.
“He is at the peak of his career and I think he is going to have a great two or three years there. He’s a fine acquisition. He has a legacy at Arsenal cemented and I think he’s got out at the right time and he can still be at his peak for a while yet. He had been one of the most consistent Premier League performers.”
Elliott claims that Ramsey left at the right time but Arsenal may well have let him go at the right time too.
Indeed, Joe Willock has been a regular in Unai Emery’s side this season and has the potential to step into the shoes of the Welshman in the future through his liveliness in the middle of the park, tenacity and eagerness to press forward.
With the 20-year-old having featured seven times in the Premier League this season as well as twice in the Europa League, it’s clear that the manager has plans for the Englishman. Willock has two goals in Europe this season, as well as scoring against Nottingham Forest during Arsenal’s 5-0 win in the Carabao Cup.
Emery even insinuated that the youngster can replace Ramsey in the long run after his goal against Standard Liege in the Europa League.
Per The Sun, he said: “My decision was after I saw him the last two months of last season working with us, his really big challenge was that Jack Wilshere left here, Aaron Ramsey left and he had to take that opportunity to be with us.”
Albeit looking from the opposite perspective, what Elliott said about Ramsey was spot on as his departure has effectively paved the way for Willock to show the world what he is about.
Having represented the England U21s for the first time this season, the youngster’s progression as a player continues to accelerate at an impressive rate, which could end with the 20-year-old cementing his status as Ramsey’s swashbuckling midfield successor.