Ramsey and Ozil too similar and Arsenal right to part with one - Robson

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The former Gunners midfielder believes that Unai Emery can only afford to have one playmaker in his side who lets the team down defensively

Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil epitomise “the good and bad of Arsenal”, says Stewart Robson, with the Gunners right to let the former leave and not bow to his demands.

With his contract at Emirates Stadium running down, a Wales international is heading towards free agency in north London – with Goal understanding that German giants Bayern Munich are closing in on a deal.

Ramsey has expressed his surprise at seeing an extension offer taken off the table, while former Gunners have questioned the decision to part with a proven performer, but Robson believes Unai Emery cannot afford any more luxury performers in midfield who offer little defensively.

He told Love Sport: “The most important time in any football game is when the ball changes hands. Arsenal have always been quite good when they’ve won the ball back [because] they can counter-attack quickly and spring to life. I think of the likes of Aaron Ramsey who sees they’ve won the ball back and races forward.

“Arsenal have never been quite so good - or some of their players haven’t been - at recovering when the ball is lost. That’s been Arsenal’s problem for many, many years. But I think Unai Emery is trying to address that.

“But it’s going to take the mindset of some of the players, Ozil in particular and Ramsey. They are the two players that don’t react quickly enough when the ball changes hands.”

Robson added: “I would say Arsenal have made the right decision because the two players that show the good and the bad of Arsenal are Ramsey and Ozil.

“Ramsey seems to run forward much quicker than when he’s having to run back. He seems to be good at sprinting into the opposition’s box and you think: ‘that was great pace!’ but when he’s got to run back the other way, he rolls his head and looks as though he can’t run.

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“I don’t believe this thing that you’re an attacking midfield player or you’re a defensive midfield player. You have to do both sides of the game. You have to be good defensively and you have to be in the attacking sense.

“If you’re only one of those things, you’ll get away with it against the weaker sides. But when you come up against the top, and Arsenal want to be one of the best, you need to do both sides of the game. And I don’t think Aaron Ramsey can do both sides of the game. That’s why I would think, for the money that they’re talking about, it’s best to let him go now.”

Ramsey joined Arsenal in the summer of 2008 and, over the course of a 10-year stay in north London, is closing in on 350 appearances for the club, having also netted 59 goals and taken in three FA Cup triumphs.

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