With the start of the new Serie A season upon us, we take a look at one of the more high profile free transfers of the summer window. Aaron Ramsey left Arsenal on the expiry of his contract in June this year having announced that he would be signing with Italian giants Juventus.
Eyebrows were raised all over North London when the Gunners allowed one of their most influential, albeit injury prone, players to leave for nothing. It seemed the Wales international would have the pick of clubs to choose from on becoming a free agent but chose Juventus, no doubt £400,000 a week helped the decision.
What he probably didn’t count on was the arrival of Maurizio Sarri to Turin having been dismissed after a solitary season, by London rivals Chelsea. Sarri’s brand of football provides a challenge to Ramsey in that he strictly plays 4-3-3 and with several of the world’s top midfielders at his disposal, there’s at least 6 players vying for 3 positions.
They’re so overstocked that Sarri has been forced to cut 6 players from his Champions League squad and Ramsey will be hopeful that he is not one of them when the squad registration deadline falls on September 2nd.
Bianconeri brought in Adrian Rabiot from PSG during the summer, also on a free transfer, and in recent seasons have added Emre Can to the likes of Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic and some Cristiano Ronaldo fella, you may have heard of him. All of this looks like the Welshman faces a battle on his hands to even get in the match-day squad for his new club.
Wales Manager Ryan Giggs has every faith that he will come good eventually saying:
“There are not many midfielders who can play (like Ramsey) – get beyond the forwards, score goals, create chances. He’s something different.”It will be competitive because Juventus have a lot of good players, but Aaron Ramsey on form will get in that team no problem.”
Given his history of spending lots of time in the treatment room, Ramsey and the Juve medical staff will likely get to know each other very well over the length of his four year deal. Recovering his fitness will be key to gaining a run of games in what is a star studded midfield and having made his debut in a recent friendly win against Triestina. He acknowledged that while he felt good physically, it would take a while to get up to speed both with “Sarriball” and life in Italy.
Conspiracy Theorists and Internet Weirdos will be interested to know that the effects of the “Aaron Ramsey Death Curse” have waned slightly in recent. The phenomenon of stars passing away on or around days the Welshman finds the back of the net has become one of those things that the Internet has taken notice of.
Having claimed the lives of Steve Jobs, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and more recently Kieth Flint of The Prodigy. (There’s loads more, Google it.) Ramsey only managed 4 goals in 28 appearances in a season punctuated by injuries, and presumably loads of celebrity funerals.
Juventus begin their defense of their Serie A title on Saturday night at 5pm against Parma, which could feature another former Arsenal man Gervinho.
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