News Matches

Why Juventus don't want Wales star Ramsey anymore

08:00 BST 20/06/2021
Aaron Ramsey Wales Juventus GFX
The midfielder will face Italy on Sunday after excelling in the midweek win over Turkey but the Bianconeri are already looking to sell the 30-year-old

Juventus fans couldn't quite believe their eyes. 

But there was Aaron Ramsey sprinting back into his own box to make a last-ditch tackle in a game in which he covered more ground than any other player.

Of course, such heroic feats shouldn't be so surprising for a box-to-box midfielder nicknamed ‘Rambo’.

But we're talking about a player who has been plagued by niggling injuries and completed just four games since joining Juve two years ago.

So, shock was a natural reaction to Ramsey's dynamic display in Wales' 2-0 win over Turkey in Baku on Wednesday evening.

This was the player that Juve thought they were signing, one capable of adding goals to a midfield sorely lacking in creativity.

Yet the former Arsenal ace has netted just six times in all competitions for the Bianconeri, which helps explain why they're now looking to sell him, as revealed by Goal earlier this week.

Nobody has ever had an issue with Ramsey's attitude in Turin. 

His situation is very different to that of compatriot Gareth Bale, who upset Real Madrid and the club's rabid press pack with his allegedly indifferent approach to the game.

Indeed, Ramsey impressed from day one, when he attempted a little Italian at his introductory press conference.

Neither Maurizio Sarri nor Andrea Pirlo – the two coaches he has served under at Juve – ever publicly questioned his commitment to the cause.

However, there have always been physical and tactical issues. 

Sarri planned to employ his preferred 4-3-3 formation at Juve but the loss of Douglas Costa to injury saw him experiment with a 4-3-1-2.

Ramsey was asked to play as a classic No.10 but struggled in the role, particularly when he had his back to goal.

"Ramsey needs to see more of the pitch in front of him or he gets a little lost," Sarri admitted in an interview with Sky Sport Italia in February of last year.

By that stage, there were already reports in the Italian press that Juve were looking to offload their free transfer.

However, Ramsey looked perfectly placed to kick-start his Juve career after being reverted to the right side of a midfield three.

He scored in back-to-back Serie A games, against SPAL and Inter, drawing particular praise for his excellent display in the Derby d'Italia, given he had also set up the second goal in a 2-0 win.

He appeared certain to start the second leg of Juve's Champions League last-16 clash with Lyon in Turin but that game was postponed as Covid-19 took hold of Italy.

When the season finally resumed, some three months later, Ramsey had lost all momentum – and his place in the team.

He would start just two games post-lockdown. Sarri's sacking didn't improve his situation either. 

He featured regularly under Pirlo and enjoyed an encouraging run of games over the winter period.

But he continued to pick up minor injuries and it was clear as the business end of the season approached that he had fallen behind the likes of Dejan Kulusevski, Federico Chiesa, Weston McKennie, Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur in the pecking order.

Indeed, Ramsey didn't play a single minute of Juve's final five Serie A games. He had lost the trust of both Pirlo and the club.

Ramsey has even suggested that he didn’t receive the right level of support even in terms of managing his fitness.

"The last two seasons at Juve have been very difficult, frustrating, not only from a physical point of view,” he told La Repubblica. "There have been factors and changes that I was not used to.

"In the national team, on the other hand, I am happy to have a team that follows me step by step. They understand me, they know what I need and also what my body needs.

"Unfortunately, sometimes the teams always continue to work in a certain way, too. When a player would need more attention... At least now I have the right people around me and then I'll do everything to get back to a place where I can feel good again, and have confidence."

He already seems to have achieved that goal with Wales. There’s no denying that his Euro 2020 resurgence is also a massive positive for Juve, who are desperate to make as much money as they can during the summer transfer window so that they can hopefully strengthen their squad for returning coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Any fee will mean profit on a player they signed for nothing and are presently paying €7 million (£6m/$8.3m) per season and the interest in Ramsey’s services among Premier League clubs will only have increased after he capped an energetic display in Azerbaijan with a wonderfully well-taken goal.

There will also be some regret, though, thoughts of what might have been, particularly if he stars against some of his club-mates when Wales take on Italy in Rome on Sunday. 

'Rambo' finally seems to have returned, just not in time to rescue his Juventus career.