Barcelona Unaware that Aaron Ramsey is Priceless


The big talk of the soccer world is that Barcelona, amidst their transfer ban that lasts until January of 2016, are eyeing up a massive 50 million pound swoop for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey (original rumor from the Sun, reported by the Guardian).

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Fifty million is a lot of money, and you may find some pundits out there (probably Thierry Henry) advocating for Arsene Wenger to take the money and run. After all, we could buy three world-class keepers with that money, and Arsenal most definitely need three world-class keepers. Other advocates may point out that since Aaron Ramsey is frustrated with his right wing role, he’ll look to establish himself in the center of Barcelona. Such a claim does deserve the smallest crumb of credence, as frustrated players often move on. Now that we’ve given that credence it’s crumb, let’s move on.

Aaron Ramsey is not for sale. He’s as not for sale as Jack Wilshere. If there’s one thing we know about Arsene Wenger (well, two things), it’s that he doesn’t give up on his players and he will never sells off his ‘project players.’

Let’s address the first of those Wenger-isms first.

Arsene Wenger is a player’s manager. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Arsene Wenger is a player’s manager. Arsenal is one of the rare teams out there that doesn’t sell players like they’re playthings. Wenger builds these players like a family and puts together a cohesive unit. When he sees potential in a player, he will not stop developing them until he sees it.

Aaron Ramsey is one such case.

Making his debut at 18 years old, Aaron Ramsey was just another prodigy that Arsene Wenger had proudly uncovered. He got off to a roaring start and it was clear that yet again, Wenger knew his stuff.

However, in 2010, Aaron Ramsey suffered the infamous leg break that cost him a good two years of development. Through those two years of struggling to regain fitness and form, voices from all over the world were calling for Ramsey to be dropped and belittling Arsene Wenger’s faith in him (Piers Morgan).

But in Arsene Wenger fashion, he stuck with him and as we saw last year and this year – it paid dividends.

Aaron Ramsey is now one of the best midfielders in the world. His box-to-box mentality and undying stamina permit him to play constantly with little rest. He’s always involved in play and is never far from the ball. This fervor that he plays with is only heightened by the faith that Arsene Wenger had in him. That sort of faith from a manager and a team can’t be bought and paid for. An Aaron Ramsey anywhere other than Arsenal would not be the same Aaron Ramsey, much like it is with Jack Wilshere.

Now, let’s consider another reason why he’s priceless: Arsene Wenger never gives up on a project player. Consider Mesut Ozil. After a very lackluster season in 2013/14, Arsene Wenger turned away Cesc Fabregas because he believed in Ozil. Some will tell you it hasn’t paid off yet, but some will say it has. The point is that Wenger doesn’t sell his projects. He rarely ever sells players on top of their form as well.

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The only notable departures from Arsenal in the past couple years are Thomas Vermaelen, Nicklas Bendtner and Gervinho and none of them were exactly in top form. Robin van Persie left but that was on his own accord at a time when Arsenal were flat-lining at fourth place and still paying off the Emirates.

Aaron Ramsey would gain nothing by leaving for Barcelona. He’s bordering on becoming the next captain on a team that’s on the rise. He’s finally found his consistency and he’s repaying that faith that Arsene Wenger had in him all along.

That sort of bond can’t be broken with a wad of cash.

Next: Thierry Henry should never manager Arsenal