Unai Emery’s work in the market so far at Arsenal ahead of the 2018-19 season has impressed but there is still significant room for concern.
The Gunners added Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi to their squad following the losses of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere but are at severe risk of experiencing a huge blow, as Aaron Ramsey’s future remains shrouded in speculation.
Wales international Ramsey, a figure many fans believe would be the ideal captain at the Emirates Stadium, has less than 12 months remaining on his contract and the Gunners may be forced into a sale as they look to avoid losing the 27-year-old on a free transfer next year.
While Emery himself has stated that Ramsey is a crucial part of his plans for next year, his own admission that he does not know whether the former Cardiff City man will renew should send alarm bells ringing in north London.
“This is one question for the player, the club, but my opinion – I said to them – I think he is one important player for me. I’m very happy with him. Every day every training session he is with the ambition I want. He is working with quality. I want to work with him.”
Arsenal are confident of securing a deal with Ramsey, according to Football.London, but plans need to be made for the worse case scenario – and the Gunners could find their own bargain in the market in the form of Max Meyer.
Available on a free transfer after leaving Schalke, the 22-year-old Germany international is a target for Arsenal, alongside Liverpool, and Emery’s side are ready to do a deal as long as he lowers his staggering wage demands, according to TransferMarketWeb.
Capped four times by Germany, and a member of his nation’s squad at the 2016 Olympics, Meyer is widely regarded to be one of the best midfield prospects within European football and his versatility means he could easily fill the void left by a potential departure of Ramsey.
Additionally, his preferred position as an attacking midfielder could see Meyer stand as the best long-term replacement for compatriot Mesut Ozil at the Emirates Stadium, which would then allow Switzerland international Granit Xhaka to partner new signing Lucas Torreira in a deeper midfield role.
While speculation suggests that any more for Meyer does not necessarily hinge on Ramsey’s future, signing the Germany ace with the squad in it’s current shape would leave huge questions marks over who will play for Unai Emery.
Significant depth is required for the gruelling campaigns in both the Premier League and Europa League but a player like Meyer will demand first-team assurances, which he is unlikely to get if Ramsey renews his deal.