Declan Rice And The 2 Chelsea Stars Who Could Replace Aaron Ramsey At Arsenal
Arsenal must start preparing for life without Aaron Ramsey as the Welshman is on his way to Juventus in the summer and the Gunners face an almighty task when trying to replace their two-time player of the season.
The 28-year-old has just three FA Cup trophies - as well as two club player of the year awards - to show for his near-eleven year stay at The Emirates and few can blame him for wanting to depart North London for the promise of silverware with Juventus in Turin.
It was a straightforward choice for Ramsey. How Arsenal attempt to replace one of their stand-out performers from another underwhelming campaign is anything but simple. We take a look at three possibilities...
The West Ham midfielder has been making headlines this week thanks to his decision to commit his international future to England, despite representing Republic of Ireland in three friendlies.
The 20-year-old has made 59 appearances for the Hammers and he is a young man in demand after sparkling this season. Boasting a superb positional sense, Rice is capable in possession and not afraid of a tackle. He is the kind of steely midfielder that Arsenal have been crying out for.
Rice wouldn't be a like-for-like replacement for Ramsey but he would add yet more youthful bite to a Gunners midfield that offers so much promise, with Lucas Torreira still only 23 and Matteo Guendouzi a tender 19 years of age. Guendouzi could potentially move further forward in a 4-2-3-1 formation if Rice were to come in and it would be an exciting midfield triumvirate if Rice were added to the mix.
The reality for Arsenal is that they aren't going to be able to go and snap up the very best midfielders in the world and they will have to cut their cloth accordingly.
The Gunners might have to sign a player who is yet to fulfil their potential at another big club and Ross Barkley would appear to fit the bill perfectly. The 25-year-old has struggled to impress under Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, scoring three goals and laying on four assists in the Premier League this term, but he is a player who has the ability to produce the goods, despite his problems with injury in recent years.
Despite perceived fitness issues, Barkley played more than 34 league games in three of his final four seasons at his former club Everton and those four campaigns yielded impressive returns - 22 goals and 50 assists.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has fallen out of favour at Chelsea as he was left out of their squad to face Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday night. The 23-year-old was superb during a loan spell at Crystal Palace last season but he has played only 997 minutes in all competitions this season, scoring six goals in that time.
Loftus-Cheek needs to move on to find regular first team football and Arsenal could yet be an ideal destination for the England hopeful.