After Arsenal’s disappointing 1-1 home draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, the Emirates faithful bade an emotional farewell to Aaron Ramsey.
As the Welsh international broke down in tears while reminiscing about his time with the Gunners, the North Londoners might already be regretting their decision to let the midfielder leave this summer.
Ramsey will join Italian champions Juventus next season, trading Arsenal for a life in Turin with the European powerhouses.
But with the Gunners’ almost certain to miss out on the Champions League again, Unai Emery has to reflect on whether the decision to let the Welshman leave was a mistake.
Against Brighton, Arsenal suffered yet another setback in their pursuit of a top four finish, following up recent disappointments against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, and Crystal Palace. Now, a top four position appears all but impossible as it needs an eight-goal swing on the final day of the season for them to overtake Tottenham Hotspur.
The team sitting fourth from bottom in the Premier League table took the game to the Gunners, nearly winning it late on, and looked largely untroubled by the Arsenal attack. With Brighton content to sit back and absorb attack after attack, the Gunners showed how badly they were missing a talent like Ramsey.
The Welsh international – who missed the match through injury – has the ability to string together concise passes, unlock even the tightest of defences, and win a match with his supreme skill.
One such classic moment came during the away win over Fulham in October. Ramsey kicked off a counter-attack with a lovely backheel pass before sprinting the length of the pitch to finish the move with a delightful flicked volley.
Moments like that will be greatly missed in north London, and Arsenal fans will yearn for Aaron Ramsey’s brilliant footballing mind when he leaves for Juventus.