Welsh international midfielder Aaron Ramsey is officially on the market as a free transfer this summer after Serie A giants Juventus terminated the midfielder’s contract per reports from transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.
Ramsey received a severance package of just over €3m according to Football Italia after both Juve and the player came to a mutual agreement to end their relationship after the Welshman failed to impress boss Massimiliano Allegri and was already deemed surplus to requirements previously despite his contract running until the summer of 2023.
The 31-year-old midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan under Giovanni van Bronckhorst at Glasgow Rangers and did manage to find the back of the net twice in five appearances in the Scottish Premier League while also making appearances in the Europa League, SFA Cup, and the SPL Top Six Split, but returned to Turin this summer regardless.
A native of Caerphilly, Ramsey was once considered one of the best talents to ever emerge from Wales after breaking through into the first-team setup at Cardiff City as an academy graduate before making the massive jump to Arsenal under Arsène Wenger.
Despite a swath of injuries in north London (including a horrific leg break perpetrated by Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross in 2010 that fractured both his fibula and tibia), Ramsey eventually became of Arsenal’s prized possessions and helped the Gunners to a trio of FA Cup honors.
His move to Juventus paled in comparison, however, with Ramsey never becoming a first-choice option in Turin during his two-and-a-half seasons at the club before his loan stint in Glasgow.
Despite his horrendous injury record and career regression, the Welshman could still have some bark left in him; enough to potentially help a cadre of Premier League clubs reach their goals in the upcoming 2022-23 campaign in England.
Here are five such clubs that Aaron Ramsey could potentially fill a need for this season.
After Danish international star Christian Eriksen opted to not extend his stay with Thomas Frank’s Brentford and instead move to Manchester United this summer on a free transfer, the Bees currently lack a central creative figure in midfield; Aaron Ramsey could potentially fill that void.
With the success of the move for Eriksen serving as a benchmark for comparison, it is hardly out of the realm of possibility that the London club could find value in a free move for Ramsey given they have already secured two veterans - Ben Mee (32), and Thomas Strakosha (27) - on free deals already this summer in conjunction with a pair of promising captures in Aaron Hickey and Keane Lewis-Potter.
Considering the fact that the bulk of Brentford’s central options is defensive or box-to-box in nature, Ramsey (capable of playing behind the central striker as well as a mobile 8) could be a summer catch for Frank.
Not the typical player profile that Crystal Palace has relied on since former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira took up his post on the Selhurst Park touchline, Aaron Ramsey could also fill a creative need for the Eagles in a similar vein to Brentford.
The Eagles are missing a more forward-thinking central presence in the wake of Conor Gallagher returning to Chelsea this summer and fighting for a place at Stamford Bridge under Thomas Tuchel, leaving Vieira with new signing Cheick Doucouré alongside Jairo Riedewald, Luka Milivojevic, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Will Hughes, and James McArthur as his central midfield options.
Though Eberechie Eze has previously shown quality as an attacking midfield last year, another player that could offer more quality going forward than the current midfield selection certainly could not hurt.
Everton could once again be in real trouble in 2022-23 under Frank Lampard after the Toffees narrowly avoided a shock relegation to the Championship after finishing just four points clear of the drop zone while boasting one of the worst records both in attack and defense in the Premier League.
Goals - and creativity - are both sorely lacking in midfield at Goodison Park with just perhaps only former Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli offering the best option that also includes the likes of André Gomes, Allan, and Abdoulaye Doucouré.
Despite Ramsey’s injury record and failure to make an impact with Juventus, he did manage to get back to some semblance of his old goalscoring ways in Scotland. And with Everton currently struggling to navigate the summer market, a short-term contract on a free transfer for Ramsey could be a smart move in the end.
Fulham has done exceptionally well this summer with their recruitment strategy at Craven Cottage under Marco Silva after bringing in Israeli Manor Solomon, Sporting CP’s João Palhinha, and Manchester United’s Andreas Pereira to level up both their creative quality and their midfield options. But beyond that, the Cottagers still lack enough attacking punch to guarantee a chance of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship.
Apart from Solomon, it is unclear if Silva’s attacking options through Harry Wilson and Anthony Knockaert will do enough to keep key center-forward Aleksandar Mitrović supplied, nor is it clear if Pereira will take his chance away from Old Trafford in what will likely see him log considerable minutes in the English capital.
Ramsey could offer some tactical versatility for Silva given his ability to play as an 8 or 10, as well as on the right flank if necessary. Though the club is in dire need of defensive reinforcements before the window shuts, a free move for Ramsey may prove useful if such a play is explored.
Nottingham Forest is back in the Premier League for the first time since 1998-99 and has wasted no time in adding a swath of new names at the City Ground after securing eleven summer deals thus far, including big-name acquisitions in Jesse Lingard, Moussa Niakhaté, and Taiwo Awoniyi.
But Steve Cooper’s senior squad could still do with even more additive quality this summer if they are to avoid the drop this season, so a deal for Ramsey - with similar terms to that of Lingard (high wages and a one-year deal) - may not be out of the realm of possibility in theory.
Forest did well to keep hold of starlet Brennan Johnson and adding Lingard to the mix does mean that they do have some creativity about them while they did sell to shore up their defensive lines. But promoted clubs historically struggle to find goals when they are sent right back down after one season, and Ramsey could - in theory - offer further assistance on that front.