Arsenal’s inability to keep Aaron Ramsey at the club is “staggering” and “astonishing”, claims Martin Keown, but they only have themselves to blame.
The Gunners have found themselves in an all too familiar situation this season when it comes to the future of one of their prized assets.
Having previously faced similar struggles with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere, Wales international Ramsey is now heading towards becoming a free agent.
Those in north London have failed to put suitable terms in place, having taken an offer off the table, and are about to lose the 28-year-old to a leading European rival in Juventus.
Keown considers that to be unacceptable, but believes recent transfer deals, and contract extensions, have contributed to an unfortunate saga in north London.
The former Arsenal defender told the Daily Mail: “If Arsenal are admitting they are only able to sign loan players, then it is staggering that they are happy to let one of their prized assets leave for nothing.
“Juventus looks the most likely destination for Aaron Ramsey when his contract runs out at the end of the season. The Italian champions must be rubbing their hands together.
“Ramsey has conducted himself with great dignity this season but it is astonishing that Arsenal, a powerhouse in the English game, could not put together a package to keep him.
“The team are still formidable going forward. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are good enough to grace any team in the Premier League’s top six.
“But the £100 million spent to sign those players last season and hefty wages given to other star players has led to this situation.
“Unai Emery must look at his back line – where they are short at centre half – and wish he could bring in reinforcements. After all, Arsenal are only three points off the top four.
“Emery is finding that decisions made before he arrived have left him with his hands tied.”
The Gunners boss has conceded that he has no transfer kitty to work with in the January window, with the club only able to bring in loans.
He is, however, hoping to bring fresh faces on board, with Goal revealing that a loan agreement is close to being completed with Barcelona for midfielder Denis Suarez.