Former Arsenal striker John Hartson believes Unai Emery will regret allowing Aaron Ramsey to leave the club, with the Welshman set to depart in the summer when his contract at the Emirates expires.
Ramsey has been a Gunners player for a decade, having joined the club from Cardiff City in 2008. Nevertheless, his long affiliation with the north London club seems to be coming to an end as the Welsh midfielder's contract teeters towards its expiration date.
Despite Arsenal's willingness to let Ramsey leave, Hartson believes it is a mistake as the Welsh midfielder still has a lot to offer. He told the Express: “It is a blow. It’s a blow for Aaron as well because he genuinely likes it at Arsenal.
"There were talks initially, he was more than happy to sit around a table and discuss it. He doesn’t know, so I’m never going to know why the talks broke down.
“It’s a blow for Arsenal and him because I speak to Aaron, I know he loves the club. He’s been there almost 10 years.
“Arsene Wenger was like a second father to him, like he was to a lot of the younger players. It’s a shame they didn’t get it sorted, it’s a little sad."
In addition to this, Hartson insisted that Arsenal will find it difficult to replace Ramsey should they let him leave. He explained: “They weren’t able to sit down as two parties, club and player, and get a deal sorted for this great player.
"He’s only 29, he’s got his best years ahead of him. He’s a goalscorer from midfield, they’re very few and far between in Europe.
“What was [Steven] Gerrard worth? What was [Frank] Lampard worth? I’m not saying that Aaron is that type of player but what I’m saying is goalscoring midfielders are gold dust.”
Whilst comparing Ramsey to Gerrard and Lampard might be a step too far, one thing is for certain: the Arsenal midfielder will not be short of options if he leaves the club.
Three of the Premier League's most prestigious clubs, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, are lying in wait should Ramsey decide his future remains in the Premier League. However, the Welshman has also attracted interest from European giants Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Arsenal next face a high-flying Bournemouth side away from home in the Premier League on Sunday. There are only four points between the two sides currently and Emery will be hoping that his side can extend the gap to seven points with a victory.