Will Arsenal miss Aaron Ramsey?
Aaron Ramsey will be leaving Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer, according to Sky Sports News, so will he be missed?
The midfielder looked set to extend his decade-long stay at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season, but the club withdrew their offer of a new long-term contract, meaning he is free to depart at the end of his current deal.
Here, we examine the statistics on his importance to Arsenal…
Ramsey has been in and out of Emery’s team so far this season but he has already notched three assists in 524 Premier League minutes – putting him behind only Hector Bellerin (four) and level with Mesut Ozil. The only other Arsenal player to have provided more than one assist is Alexandre Lacazette with two.
Ramsey ranks highly for chance creation, too. According to Opta, he has fashioned 12 scoring opportunities so far – only two fewer than Ozil despite playing fewer minutes.
Ramsey opened his goal account for the season when he came off the bench to finish off a slick Arsenal move in the 5-1 thrashing of Fulham, but he has been outscored by Ozil, who netted his third goal of the season in the recent 3-1 win over Leicester.
Emery clearly sees Ozil – who signed a lucrative new contract last season – as the creative fulcrum of his team in the long-term, but Ramsey’s statistics suggest he still has an important role to play too.
So far this season, he has the same goal involvement total (four) as Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan combined. Ramsey may not figure in Emery’s long-term plans but the statistics suggest he still has an important role to play this season.
Last five seasons
A look at the statistics over the last five seasons as a whole gives a more rounded picture of Ramsey’s influence at Arsenal. The 27-year-old has struggled with injuries during that time, meaning he only ranks seventh for Premier League minutes played, but he is higher in attacking metrics.
Since the start of the 2014/15, Ramsey has created 147 chances in total. That puts him third among Arsenal players, although he is still a long way behind Ozil (414) and the departed Alexis Sanchez (272).
He ranks third for assists, too, but his total of 25 is in fact level with Sanchez and only 17 behind Ozil, which suggests he has actually created a higher proportion of high-quality chances.
What about his own goal threat?
Ramsey ranks second for shots with 239, behind only Sanchez, who had 426 before his departure to Manchester United. The Welshman is never reluctant to test the goalkeeper but his goal total in the last five seasons is a relatively modest 20 – which puts him below Sanchez, Giroud and Ozil.
A total of just 20 goals from 239 shots gives Ramsey a conversion rate of just 8.3 per cent. Has that wastefulness contributed to the decision to let him go?
The man for the big occasion?
Ramsey has struggled for consistency at Arsenal and there are still question marks over his best position, but few players have stepped up on the big occasions like him.
Ramsey’s knack for the big occasions has been most apparent in the FA Cup. Back in 2014, it was his extra-time goal which clinched Arsenal’s first piece of silverware in eight years against Hull.
Ramsey was named man of the match that day at Wembley and he was similarly important in the victory over Chelsea in 2017, scoring what turned out to be the decisive goal after Diego Costa had cancelled out Sanchez’s opener.
Arsenal will need someone else to step up to the plate when he is gone.
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