Arsenal have placed themselves in a difficult position over the future of midfielder Aaron Ramsey, according to Wales legend Dean Saunders.
The 75-time capped international striker cannot understand why the Gunners have left it so late to open contract talks with the 27-year-old midfielder, whose deal is up at the end of the season.
He believes that they should have been more prepared after being burned previously by the case of Mesut Ozil, who only stayed at the club after being given a bumper offer as it seemed other teams were closing in .
Now, he says the balance of power is with Ramsey when he takes to the table for discussions.
“I can’t understand it,” he told Talksport . “He’s been at Arsenal for ten years and they’ve let his contract run down. And it’s not just him, it happened with Ozil and it happened with Sanchez.
“Once the players can see the finishing line on their contract, you’ve lost all control as a club.
“They managed to keep hold of Ozil, but it has cost them an absolute fortune, and now this is what happens, the players are knocking on the door saying: ‘If he’s getting that, what are you going to give me?’ The bar has gone up.
“It’s a game of poker now, but Arsenal have lost the power. Ramsey and his agent have got the power now, because he can just let his contract run out and leave for nothing.”
A raft of clubs are following the midfielder, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and even Juventus.
Saunders sees him as a player good enough to grace any of those sides without trouble.
“He can do a bit of everything, he sees passes, he’ll go box to box and he covers more ground than most players – at the Euros I think he covered more ground than every other player,” he said.
“Arsene Wenger played him everywhere across in the midfield and he is a massively important player for Wales.”
Ramsey has played 338 matches for the Gunners, scoring 59 goals and assisting an identical number.