Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has said that Arsenal have to offer Aaron Ramsey a new contract as he believes the Welshman can go to another level and be the man the Gunners build their team around – but he is wrong.
As per his column in the Evening Standard, Lampard sees some similarities between the nature of his own game and Ramsey’s; the pair both make late runs into the penalty area and have an eye for goal.
Ramsey – valued at £36m by Transfermarkt – has just over a year left on his existing deal at the Emirates Stadium and Lampard wants the Gunners to move quickly to avoid him being yet another player embroiled in a long-running contract saga.
Lampard saw Ramsey’s quality at Euro 2016 and feels that he still has a lot to offer Arsene Wenger.
The Welshman was very impressive at Euro 2016, there’s no doubt about that. The reason why is because he was one of Wales’ two playmakers, freed of any defensive responsibility due to the fact Chris Coleman fielded a five-man defence and two holding midfielders behind him and Gareth Bale.
He has to operate further forward in order to be at his most effective. Lampard was comfortable playing in a 4-3-3 formation, where he had to carry out defensive duties and even evolved to the extent that he was deep in a 4-2-3-1 when Chelsea battled to their 2012 Champions League triumph.
Ramsey might share Lampard’s tendency for a late arrival in the box – although he isn’t as good or prolific at doing so – but he is not as good at going back the other way.
Wenger seems insistent on fielding Ramsey from a deeper position but in the biggest games, he simply doesn’t have the willingness, concentration or discipline to cope with his defensive duties.
He will need fielding further forward but with the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January to compliment Mesut Ozil, he won’t get to play in his best position. Rightly so, given that he is not on the same level as either man.
That’s why Arsenal must not take Lampard’s advice to build around Ramsey as they look to get out of the malaise that has engulfed the club in recent years.