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Aaron Ramsey: what could have been?

OPINION: Arsenal midfielder may have been one of the losers in Arsene Wenger’s protracted departure from the club

09 May, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Aaron Ramsey is on his way to Italy

IT all got a bit emosh on Sunday when Aaron Ramsey waved farewell to the Emirates Stadium after eleven years.

It was a kind of break-up moment where partners look back on all the things they planned to do but never did: never went olive-picking in Italy, never bought a cottage in Whitstable… never won the Premier League.

“We want you to stay” came the forlorn cry from the half-empty Clock End. Time had raced on and, even as a player who had scored two winning goals in FA Cup finals for Arsenal, it felt like Ramsey had not achieved all he might have here.

Sometimes he was injured, sometimes out of form, sometimes it didn’t seem clear where his best position was, sometimes he didn’t seem trusted by his manager… and of course sometimes he was brilliant.

Events later in the week made you wonder whether Ramsey might have been one of the losers in Arsene Wenger’s protracted departure from the club. It’s not far-fetched to think that Jurgen Klopp might have ended up in north London if the managerial vacancy had come up just a little bit sooner.

And the way Liverpool have reached more than 90 points in the league this season and enchanted even their grumpiest rivals with their miracle against Barcelona, shows how potential, even at its base level, can be drawn out by the best practitioners.

Think of Jordan Henderson and James Milner, fairly ordinary players, as potential champions of Europe, and you see how far Klopp has revived Liverpool.

Ramsey is not ordinary at all, no, but his star never shone as brightly as it might have done in late-Wenger era and he was largely cut out of Unai Emery’s frantic first year.

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