Former Arsenal footballer Paul Merson on Tuesday laughed off the Gunners’ title credentials and once again reiterated that Unai Emery’s men are a million miles away from winning the Premier League again. He also slammed Arsenal’s handling of Aaron Ramsey contract situation and questioned the club’s transfer and contract dealings with players at the club.
Merson was extremely critical of how Arsenal handed a long-term, bumper contract to a player like Mesut Ozil and disregarded the services of Aaron Ramsey by not tying him down to a new contract.
“Letting Ramsey leave is just bad, bad club management isn’t it. To let player contracts run out in this day and age for how much these players go for and how much they’re worth is criminal. To let him leave the club and walk away for free, somebody in his prime leaving for nothing, it’s a football crime,” added Paul Merson.
Aaron Ramsey has entered in the final six months of his contract at the North London club and the speculation is rife that the Welsh midfielder is in advanced talks with Serie A giants Juventus to sign a pre-contract with them. There are also reports that the Italian club might lure him to Turin in January only by paying a nominal sum to the Gunners.
Questioning Arsenal’s handling of Mesut Ozil, Merson went on to add, “Now they have got to replace him and that will cost money but until the Ozil problem gets sorted out they are going to find it difficult to bring in players.”
“Because if they bid £50-60m for someone, the first thing the player will say is well I want what Ozil is getting. And when the club says you aren’t getting that then the player will just say well I’m not coming then. And that is what happened with Ramsey,” he added.
He also said that Unai Emery needs at least seven more players to get his side competitive enough and later concluded his interview by saying that it will take 20 years for Arsenal to win another Premier League title.
Arsenal currently lies at the fifth spot in the Premier League table 13 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool. Even arch-rivals Tottenham lies above Arsenal in the table by three more points.