Arsenal invincible Robert Pires has admitted he is sad that Aaron Ramsey will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
The Gunners decided to break off new contract negotiations with the Welshman towards the back end of last year, with the 28-year-old subsequently agreeing to join Serie A giants Juventus on a four-year deal at the end of the season - worth a reported £400,000 per week.
Despite his imminent departure, Pires still hopes to see Ramsey play a key role in Unai Emery's team between now and the end of the season. The Gunners are bidding to finish in the top four once more as they aim to secure Champions League football next season.
And Pires - in an interview with Bwin News - has revealed his hope that Ramsey helps the club achieves their goals, before receiving a well deserved send off.
"I’m upset that Ramsey is leaving Arsenal and it’s a shame the player and Arsenal couldn’t come to an agreement as he will be missed," Pires began.
"I think Ramsey has been excellent for Arsenal and I would be surprised if he wasn’t given a warm send-off from the fans and club."
"The club and players have to respect his decision and I’m glad he still receives a warm welcome with the Arsenal fans as I feel he still has a key role to play in how this season will end up.
"Emery needs to utilise Ramsey as often as possible until he leaves in the summer and he’s key to Arsenal finishing in the top four this season."
The Frenchman continued by conceding that Arsenal wanted to agree a deal with the midfielder and had the financial power to do so, but it went against the club's style.
“Arsenal had the money to pay Ramsey what he wanted, but it’s not the strategy of the club to do so. Ramsey put forward what he thought he was worth and although Arsenal weren’t prepared to pay it, Juventus were."