For Aaron Ramsey, Bayern Munich could be the perfect fit. The German champions have had an inauspicious start to the season under new coach Niko Kovac. They are fifth in the Bundesliga, seven points off Borussia Dortmund, and evidently in need of some reinvigoration.
So they are in the hunt for new players ahead of the January transfer window. Ramsey, according to a report in the Independent, has been identified as a prime target, and could be on his way to the Allianz Arena when he leaves Arsenal in the summer.
This will be a welcome development for the Welshman. His ten-year career at Arsenal has petered out disappointingly: a protracted contract dispute and an inability to force his way into Unai Emery’s starting XI with any regularity means he is now on the verge of an exit.
“Hopefully somebody will come up and tell me why,” Ramsey said last month when asked about the withdrawn contract offer. “I’ll accept that if there’s a reason. When the time is right, I probably will find out but that hasn’t happened yet.
“There is no contract on the table at the moment so there is nothing for me to consider or whatever. We all know that the contract was taken away off the table. I’m not sure exactly why because a few weeks before we sort of agreed and I was ready to sign.”
He is a player in need, it seems, of a fresh start. His time at Arsenal has run its course, and now he must begin a new chapter. It could be wise, then, given the last few months, for Ramsey to move abroad to a new club and a new culture.
It might have been forgotten, too, amid all the off-pitch turmoil, just how good a player Ramsey is. He remains one of the most naturally gifted midfielders in the Premier League; there is a reason he felt an improvement to his contract at Arsenal was a legitimate request.
The club, clearly, felt differently, so Ramsey will be on his way when his contract expires. For Bayern, there is little to lose. They will acquire a uniquely talented midfielder for free, with only his salary to concern them financially.
Ramsey is affordable and, most importantly, still in his prime. He is only 27; he has several years left at his peak – assuming he can avoid serious injuries – and that is reflected in Bayern’s apparent willingness to offer him a long-term contract.
He will be well suited, too, to the Bundesliga, a league where games are often played at full throttle, where the attributes of a box-to-box midfielder are truly appreciated. Ramsey, at his best, would bring energy and creativity to a Bayern side that have lacked both so far this season.
It will be refreshing, should the move go ahead, to see Ramsey plying his trade in a foreign league. All too often British players choose to remain in the comfort zone of the Premier League, and it seems that was an option for Ramsey. Chelsea and Liverpool were believed to be interested, and a move to either is an appealing prospect.
Perhaps Ramsey has recognised, though, that he needs a new challenge, something that allows him to reinvent himself. At Bayern, he will be able to do that. He will be away from critical onlookers in the Premier League. He will, presumably, start regularly for a club who have headhunted him. And he will be able again to focus on football after several months of frustrating bureaucracy.
A move to Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga could be exactly what is needed, for player and club.
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