Arsenal are making “a mistake” in allowing Aaron Ramsey’s contract to run down, says Jack Collison, with the Gunners preparing to part with one of few players on their books with “magic” qualities.
With a previous extension offer having been taken off the table, the Wales international is heading towards free agency.
A former colleague on national team duty can see why such a switch would appeal to the 28-year-old, but he is bemused as to why Arsenal have put themselves in this situation.
Collison told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He’s had a lot of success in England and maybe he feels it’s a new challenge, something that he needs.
“It’s fresh, it will be tough out there but Juventus are a good side, they’re going to be challenging for cups, they’re there or thereabouts in the league every season.
“It’s a new culture and a new challenge, and probably something that he’s really looking forward to.
“Is it a mistake for Arsenal to let him go? Yes, quite simply, yes.
“You look at their last few games, even against West Ham, they’ve really struggled for that magic man to link the play, to play between the lines, to recognise where the spaces are on the pitch.
“He’s not just a person who will play in one position, he’s very bright, very clever and he’s often that man who finds that key pass, will find the goal and especially when they’re struggling and teams will sit back, teams will try and defend, he’s often the man to produce that bit of magic.
“Especially now, Arsenal started off so well, it seemed [Unai] Emery could do no wrong but a couple of tough results, a few draws, a few losses here and there, and all of a sudden it’s looking like a totally different prospect at Arsenal.”
Since the last international break in November, Ramsey has started just two Premier League games for Arsenal – and he was hauled off at half-time during a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in December.
He has been a regular on the bench, but Emery has sought to put his trust in those who will form part of his long-term plans.
Ramsey, though, has two goals and six assists to his name this season and may need to play a more prominent role if the Gunners are to force themselves back into the Premier League’s top four.
They will get another chance to close on the Champions League spots this weekend as Chelsea, the side sat directly above them in the table, are due to pay a visit to Emirates Stadium on Saturday.