Will Ramsey do a Mesut, Alexis or Wilshere on Arsenal?

Three Questions.


All transfer-in business is done, it seems. Emery says he is happy with the additions to the squad and is now working hard to get the players fit, his ideas for the team to work in practice and to be battle-ready when the season starts in just four weeks from now.

He did say, though, that if a great opportunity comes their way to sign a special player, the club might still add further to the squad. If you ask me, this could be interpreted as anticipating a possible departure of a top player who would have to be replaced with an equally good player. Alternatively, this could mean that there is money in the bank for a one off opportunity to add a top quality player (who wants to come to Arsenal and who would really add something special to the squad). It is a good position to be in with just a month to go till the start of the season.

In terms of the squad, as per Kev’s excellent post yesterday, there are three big question that need to be answered:

  1. Who will leave the club before the end of the transfer window?
  2. Who will be the CB pairing – especially, is Mustafi a first-team player?
  3. The big one: Will Ramsey do a Mesut, Alexis or a Wilshere?

Over to you, fellow bloggers!

My views:

  1. I don’t care that much as I expect this to be fringe players. Welbeck may be sold but I don’t think it will be this summer (January, when clubs often get desperate to get a goal scorer in the team, could be a different kettle of fish). Ospina or Cech. It would not totally surprise me if Bellerin will be sold with AMN and Lichtsteiner filling the R(W)B position. I don’t want this to happen, but it could happen.
  2. I am assuming that Sokratis will be the sure starter in most of our games. Emery wanted to bring in experience and that is what Sokratis offers. We have been yearning for a CB who leads the defence, oozes calm to the rest of the team and is comfortable in the aerial battles (without having to leap like a salmon at full stretch each and every time). But who will be his CB partner? I reckon it will be Mustafi but it would not totally surprise me if Emery will put Holding or Chambers, who just got a new contract, next to the Greek God. Naturally, when Koz returns it will likely be Sok-Koz, but this may take many more months to materialize. My feeling is that Mustafi is a good, Keown-like, very intense defender who needs a calm leader next to him. Sokratis-Mustafi is my guess for the CB-pairing.
  3. Will Rambo sign a new contract now or in the next few months, like Ozil did? Or will he leave this summer or in January like Alexis did? Or will he do a Jack and see his contract out and then leave? It’s hard to say. In terms of character he is more like Ozil, who waited for the right moment and the best deal on the table and then signed the thing. But I am still not sure. I guess it does not really matter too much, as the club will have his services for at least a year if Emery feels he is crucial to the team. But for stability in the squad, it would be good to get this settled sooner rather than later. Whether that will happen depends for a large part on Ramsey.

By TotalArsenal.

46 thoughts on “Will Ramsey do a Mesut, Alexis or Wilshere on Arsenal?

  • 1. Ospina, Macey(loan), Jenkinson, Welbeck/Perez, Campbell, Akpom
    2. Sokratis-Chambers with Mustafi first replacement. Mavropanos and Holding to be league cup and EL dead rubber partnership.
    3. Ramsey will sign and be given the armband in a fanfare announcement just after the last pre-season game.

  • Agree with Shard on 1.) — but still think Mustafi could be the one sold– if the ‘one-off buy’ materializes.
    Agree with Shard on 2.) — though Mavropanos may share duties with Sokratis and Chambers.
    3.) Ramsey? His aims aren’t akin any of the three compared. He’ll stick. And sign before the season begins. While Shard could be right– as Ramsey had once captained Wales? Think Emery may name Monreal in one of the captaincy roles. He’s chosen Spanish-speaking players at every other club he’s managed.


  • 1. Campbell, Akpom, Perez, Ospina, Martinez, Jenkinson (maybe, maybe not); a couple of these may be loan moves.

    2. Sokratis-Mustafi (until Kos returns. Mustafi and Sokratis a bit too similar in style, though); Chambers, Holding, Mavropanos (in that order) to come in on occasion, but to feature prominently in early domestic cups and the Europa league games.

    3. Let’s analyze that a bit: OZIL- hand was strengthened by having another superstar in Alexis in a similar situation and both held the club club to a kind of ransom, while not talking to the press or giving any hints. As it turned out, Alexis blinked first and Ozil benefited from a bumper deal that has intensified his being made the scapegoat every time we lose a game.
    Alexis – from above, couldn’t resist the lure of going to a big club up north, for a lot more money. The club too liked the idea of getting so much from their erstwhile star man who had become sullen and a disruption in the team (allegedly). Sold in the winter window rather than allowing him go for free. Wilshere- great servant of the club plagued by injuries or may be captain by now. But for departure of Wenger, may have been convinced to re-sign, and may have had Emery assured of a starting spot. Fair to say Wenger may have influenced the patience which had him allowed to run down his contract, as he neglected the offer on the table for him; the current team don’t look like they would have allowed that, so….
    Ramsey will likely do an Alexis, unless he does an Ozil before the window closes. Which means Emery will try him out and play him enough to re-assure him and if he fails to sign by December, he will be sold.

  • TA. I think 1 and 3 will happen. On 2, I don’t want Mustafi to be first choice. So maybe that’s influencing my thinking there. plus as Eris referenced, they both are similar in style. I think Chambers offers something closer to Per, while Sokratis is the stopper/hassler like Kos.

    Jw1.. That’s an interesting point about Spanish speaking players.(Who was captain at PSG?) But then again, this is England, and also a big club. I think Emery is going to see this as a fresh start for himself. Monreal doesn’t strike me as a leader though sometimes giving the armband can have a positive effect. I think it will be Ramsey or Koscielny. Ramsey because he will likely play more games and if he signs would be here for the long term. And is our longest serving player (In the first team anyway)

    On Spanish speaking though, that might be a reason that saves Mustafi’s place. Because he speaks the language, Emery might feel like he can work with him and help him improve.

  • I) … ditto Eris
    2) … ditto Eris except that I don’t have that much expectation anymore from Kosh who’d be 33 by Sept.
    3). Ramsey has been on £110k per week, and the deal on the table for him can’t be less than £140k per wk. Any team buying him must improve substantially on that wage. There are only a few teams in Europe that can do that but wouldn’t because he’d be for free a year from now.

    The club is not going to pay what he is asking for because, after Ozil’s, it’ll give the impression that we are susceptible to “blackmail” and other players would be encouraged to follow suit. Ramsey knows he is nearly there, therefore would do a Wilshere for his own big haul home.

    Footnote:- the new contract extensions to say Elneny, Chambers to me, are more to discourage players running down their contract than evidence that they wouldn’t be sold.

  • Our central defence consists of
    1) Kos who’d be 33 this Sept and ie currently out with a big injury.
    2) Papa who is 30 and whose playing style is so similar to Mustafi’s
    3) Mavro who is still a rookie
    4) Holding just a little better than a rookie
    5)) Chambers still growing in authority
    6) Mustafi at 26 about to step into his best years.

    No way I would sell Mustafi. He’s my no.1 CD.

    I’ve wondered why a similar defender (to Musti) Papa was recruited. There is a chance it is for replacement. But again if we hope to be dominating possession and thereby playing the high line, the importance of the front footed defender grows. This could be their tactical thinking for the purchase of Papa. It’s smarter if we don’t reckon that much with Kosh come back. Santi should be still fresh in our minds.

  • Great post Total, everything is in flux, I think that makes it more interesting, business has been brisk and time will tell how effective it has been. All our new signings are integrating (not sure about Torrieira, who has surely earned a holiday?), that’s what pleases me.
    Retsub, I always liked Coquelin, limited in an attacking sense, but a great tackler and disrupter.

  • As it stands Total, we have, if I’m correct, 18 foreign players too reduce to 17.
    Emery can move on Ospina and Campbell and still have one spot vacant.
    So Lucas Perez can remain, he has two years left on his contract, has minimal sell on value at 29, but can do a good job for us in the Cups and off of the bench.
    He’s Spanish so will have an affinity with Emery who I believe will want him in his squad.

    We have, again if I’m correct, 11 British players who need to be reduced to 8, so that’s 3 on the A train to Kalamazoo. Emery has stated that he wants to perm his 5 goalkeepers to 3, so either Martinez or Macey could be loaned out or sold I reckon. Bramall is skating on thin ice, Akpom needs a move to reboot his career, Jenkinson likewise so that would leave 7 Brits and one spot vacant. Of course the Ramsey scenario could flip everything upside down, but Arseblog reckons he’s had another improved offer, so I guess we’ll soon know about that contractual mess.

    Mavropanos and Guendouzi are under 21 (I think) so we’re ok there.

    So Ospina, Campbell, Jenkinson, Akpom, Bramall and Martinez or Macey to leave, either on loan or sold…

  • 2. That’s a difficult one Total, it would be easier if Koscielny was fit. I guess the obvious pairing would be Mustafi and Sokratis, but I’ve a feeling that Chambers could be in the running, Emery seems to like him, so maybe Chambers and Sokratis is an option.

  • 3. I guess it all depends if Aaron thinks he can do a Theo/Mesut and run his deal down to force Arsenal into making him an inflated offer?

    If Raul is going to change things, then he may have to make a statement and advise the club to sell, depending on who is interested?

    I’d imagine that Ramsey’s advisors are talking with other interested parties and will be discovering what they might offer.

    Can Arsenal really afford another Ozil size salary?

    Emery has made it clear he wants to stay, Ramsey I’d imagine wants to stay, so I can see a compromise, with a deal above Aubameyang and co but not quite up there with Ozil.

  • Cool… here we go:

    1. Ospina at some point for sure, Cech and Leno #1 and Martinez #3 likely. Can’t disagree with others choices either. Jenkinson is I think very much on the outside. Perez maybe, Campbell most likely. Welbeck, well someone will be desperate at some point perhaps January?

    2. I am cognisant of Shards most excellent post on the prior note. So, IMO, AW was very good at making attacking players better (So many examples) and then if they left they were less, even RvP. Juries out on midfielders and DMs. HOWEVER, AW had little to no such effect defensively, so we often got what we got and it developed. Perhaps he was luckier than not there over the years.

    Emery is a different beast, so perhaps he is better at finding and melding those attributes together there. For all his talk of preferring 4-3 than “1 nil to the Arsenal” his prior teams with success seemed to all be very strong in the back middle and spine, the foundation of (IMO) all good attacks… So, the difference is likely to be who he can most meld into the form he wants.. and may be better at that for defense than AW.

    So, after all that, Sokratis and likely Mustafi, though I confess a strong soft spot for Holding after that FA Cup final versus Chelsea’s mad man… 🙂

    3. AR is likely calm and well advised. He will sign, I hope but it depends on how he sees himself fitting in. He may be watching pre season for just this in its reality to decide. In contrast, JW was or I should excellent but never could quite fit in the game we played. IMO of course .. so,we will see there. AND, if he doesn’t fit, then better he’s gone for a big big fee than contorted into something he’s not quite or doesn’t feel he is.. better for all sides imo..

    My 2p rapidly types while listening, full disclaimer, to The Pogues .. it’s a nostalgic afternoon it seems.

    Cheers — jgc

  • Great responses by all.

    Two things stand out:
    1. The belief that Sokratis is similar to Mustafi. Now that is not how I see it from what I saw on YouTube. Let’s hope he’ll will play today to see what the Greek is like. I see Sokratis as a organiser with calm and leadership skills; Mustafi is energetic and feisty but not a calm leader…. TBC.
    2. The division over what will happen to Ramsey: some believe he will sign before the start of the season (with the captaincy thrown in) and others are not so sure. I am in the latter camp but hope the former is right, even though I want Xhaka to be captain (just to annoy Shardo). 🙂

  • For those who don’t know yet, Arsenal are playing Boreham Wood today and it is live on Arsenal.com! Now, this game coincides with the losers final, so if you rather see a few Belgium and English Spuddies fighting it out for ‘bronze’ then you should go and watch that one. 🙂

  • Hi jw1. That’s interesting. Emery did say that Neymar is the leader of that team. And then corrected himself to say he’s in the process of becoming the leader.

    Motta is Brazilian-Italian though. So Spanish doesn’t seem to be the criteria of captaincy. That article says Motta was also the clear leader, so I think Emery will decide on the basis of merit (and seniority?)

  • Yikes geoffchase. You don’t need to sugarcoat stuff about Wenger. Yes, maybe he didn’t teach defense as well as he taught offense. Though I think the difference is just that Wenger saw the ideal defense as interceptions. Arsenal were routinely near or at the top in defensive interceptions among both midfielders and defenders. So defense was also meant as the start of a quick offense. I wonder why we never really pressed though. The few times we did, eg against Napoli, we looked really good. Fitness related maybe?

  • TA, if the captaincy is to be decided among 5 players with merit, seniority, playing time and Spanish being the main criteria, who do you think they would be. They don’t all need to have all 4of those qualities.

    Koscielny – Seniority & Merit
    Cech – Seniority & Merit & Spanish? (playing time?)
    Monreal – Seniority & Spanish & (playing time?)
    Bellerin – Playing time, Spanish, Merit?, Seniority?
    Ramsey – Seniority & Merit & Playing time
    Xhaka – Merit & playing time

    I think Koscielny and Ramsey are the best candidates, and if Kos weren’t injured I’d go for him. As it is, it is Ramsey’s armband if he signs on. Even Gazidis seemed to indicate as much in that training video Arsenal put out (In the world of PR, that is a deliberate message)

  • Shard, good stuff. I guess ‘merit’ is the one for me, or maybe we should add the criterium of ‘impactfulness’ both on the pitch and in the dressing room. That is the one for me that counts and that is where I see Xhaka excel compared to the other candidates you mentioned. Furthermore, I don’t think you can add ‘playing time’ to Ramsey… too many times injured (as per previous exchanges between you and me re this). I want a captain with presence – both literally and figuratively speaking – and leadership skills. Would I be against Rambo being our captain? No, but I don’t think he is the best choice – that’s all.

  • Shardo,

    I also liked your alternative universe comment in the previous thread. I would like to add that in an alternative universe – in which Wenger is still in charge and the same players had been purchased with the same sense of urgency and decisiveness – I am pretty sure that on this blog it would have been received as positive as it has been in the real universe. It is fair to say that when it comes to adding defence-minded players Wenger has not had a brilliant record, so we would have been a bit more circumspect of these signings had they come with his blessing, but we would have appreciated the emphasis on defence and midfield, the speed of getting things sorted, and the focus on adding experience in some key positions.

  • Last season, Arsene began to integrate the likes of Nketiah, Nelson, AMN and Joe Willock into the senior squad, with the slightly older and more experienced Maitland-Nile’s really grabbing the opportunity. He is now an established 1st team squad player.

    All signed new contracts except Reiss Nelson, who has continued to stall on signing a new deal, for what could be many reasons, but I wonder if the crucial one is ‘how much 1st team exposure am I going to get?’.

    Would Joe Willock have signed if he had known that Guendouzi was going to arrive?
    I’m not criticising the signing of the Frenchman,who looks a player of exceptional potential, but Willock will now probably go out on loan and we know what a lottery that can be.

    So when Armstrong Okoflex decides to move to Scotland and join Glasgow Celtic you cannot really blame him, the possibilities of 1st team exposure at an earlier stage of his career up north, must have been a major consideration for him and his advisors…

  • Too Shard, regarding Motta–
    Was captain at PSG prior to Emery’s arrival. With 8 seasons in Spain.
    Occurs Emery likes a captain (or captains) with whom he’s fluent. The impression I have– is he finds nuance important in expressing his approach. Appreciate locating transcripted versions of his pressers– reading his own words, in English. FWIW, I am impressed to this point.


  • Arsenal XI: Cech, Bellerin, Sokratis, Mavropanos, Osei-Tutu, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Aubameyang, Lacazette
    Bench: Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Reine-Adelaide, Nketiah, Jenkinson, Martinez, Perez, Guendouzi, Kolasinac, Akpom

    C O Y R R Gs ! ! !

  • Auba with a hat trick after just 17 minutes.
    We should be cautious not to wear out the welcome! 😉


  • 5-0 to the good guys. HATTRICK for Auba in just 18 minutes, one for Reiss Nelson and one for Lacazetter. Dominant in midfield, creative in attack, a bit shaky at the back as we are vulnerable to crosses.

  • CB pairing is Greek: Mavro and Sokratis. A partnership that looks good but is understandably a little bit rusty. Bellerin’s side sees a lot of Boreham Wood attacks and he is have a full on game. Joy to watch our attacking play with quick interchanges and good running off the ball. Too easy you could say but they are playing with the right tempo and intensity and that is why it’s 5-0 already.

  • So, Southgate can’t find a place for Welbeck even in a 3rd place match up. Not very nice for the young man’s confidence considering he’s been prolific for England. Loftus-Cheek seems to be about the only forward giving the Belgians any concern, so far. Rashford and Lingard on for the 2nd half.

  • Hahaha! I was off topic there. Should have done a “refresh” before posting. Yeah, also keeping an eye on the game at Boreham Wood but, no surprises there.

  • Are we playing 3 at the back now? Or Chambers in the DM role alongside Rambo?

    The Jeff with a great goal with lots of space and almost scored another soon after.

  • Ended 8-0, and the team kept going all over the second half. Great goals from the team too.

    We were passing the ball better and faster too, including Kola. Good to see Perez back and what an assist for Nketiah.

  • Nice workout for the team and good start for Emery. Chambers did play in the DM role and appeared to suggest the manager has been giving him props about adjusting to that role, maybe using his ability to make forward passes to good effect in breaking the press.

    The true tests will come as the games vs City and Chelsea loom.

  • Ive always felt Chambers would be more suited to a DM role as he is good on the ball and a good passer. I also feel same of Holding. Id be glad if Emery converts one of them.

  • Emery probably would use Chambers as the DM for our 1st and maybe 2nd match before our world cup DM contingent of Torreira, Xhaka and Elneny are fully back to match fitness.

  • Well, Chambers or AMN or Matteo. Emery seemed particularly interested in that position today.

  • Guys, for those who watched the game, is it me or is there changes in the way we played? We were of course more direct, but i feel that there is a difference of tactical and positional play compared to Le Prof’s Arsenal.

  • Shard and TA et al,

    Shard, agreed in defense. I myself prefer moderate pressing and a shut down approach to bully teams back. So, could be that. I was more on how Arsenes defenders were what they were but attackers often came less heralded and became superstars or more so at Arsenal. Few left to become better elsewhere… BK, Henry, RvP, … Defenders? Perhaps he just couldn’t, or per your ideas couldn’t pick them for the modern game as it is now?

    TA, sigh, not Céline, not ever… 🙂

    TA, well Belgium has city, Chelsea and PSG too! Watching on tape delay as 2am was too tough for me. They looked great too. To keep it relevant to Arsenal, we oft talk of new defenders and DMs, how about paying 8 zillion for Meunier? Or how about how good Witsel has looked screening the backs in every game? I like that style of DM screen and eel distributor.

    All, and TA, on captaincy, to be different, Arsenal often need to smile more and relax, and also when threatened a more competitive mongrel attitude. IMO of course. So, on merit and those attributes, and playing time, why not PEA ?

    Cheers — jgc

  • Fun post and comments.
    … Another great day, spur losers miss out on runners up trophy lol, and Arsenal win big. I could get used to this.
    I agree with you TA. I see Mustafi as the risk taker, agressive battler CB. I want him reigned in a bit more firmly than in the past though. He would be a starter for me. I hope Sokratis can step right in alongside him.

    I pray Ramsey stays… he is absolutely class, and on a strongly managed team, I believe he is a difference maker. But he has to go if he won’t commit. I’d make him a generous offer, obviously.

    On selling players, I think we have done a lousy job of making money on sales for quite a few years now. For a club on a strict budget, that’s not a good thing.

    Specifically, but not based on today’s game at all, I would look to move out my 2 least favs in Welbeck (English premium), and Iwobi. To me easy decisions, that are addition by subtraction.
    Reiss Nelson, Nketiah, Maitland Niles must play much more, they have talent ceilings as high as a cathedral, while Welbeck and Iwobi are here ( my hand level at my belly ).

  • Jnyc, I think it would be Welbeck or Perez. Emery might want to keep the more versatile player, the English premium. Others to go …. Campbell, Akpom, Jenkinson, Ospina, one of Macey or Martinez. Strange that up to now no outgoing rumours except Juv for Musti.

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