Football pundit and former Arsenal player, Paul Merson, has criticised his former team for failing to extend the contract of their attacking midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, in time, a move which made Juventus to step in and lure him to their side.
The Gunners gifted player’s contract will be over by the summer, and he has recently agreed a summer move to the Old Lady.
The 50-year-old pundit has undressed his former team by making the remarks to Sky Sports.
“It’s stupidity from Arsenal to allow someone of Ramsey’s quality to let their contract run down,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s yet another player after Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott. Players’ contracts come to an end then they all leave on frees.
“In footballing terms, it’s criminal. It’s like buying an £80m house, waiting for the leasehold to run out and losing the house.
“Arsene Wenger sorted out his contract every year but seemed to forget everyone else’s
“I wouldn’t mind if all these players were 35 years of age or older, but they are in the prime of their careers when they are playing their best football ever.”
The former Gunner added that: “Arsenal had a player in Ramsey that was proven,” he added. “Now they’ve got to go and get someone that probably hasn’t played in the Premier League and will need time to adjust. It’s poor.
“Arsenal can replace him but it’s going to cost £40m-£50m. That’s where the stupidity comes into it.
“Sanchez went for nothing and when Mesut Ozil’s contract ran down they have had to pay him an absolute fortune to keep him. It’s ridiculous.”
Merson however thinks the 28-year-old will succeed in Italy.
“Ramsey can succeed in Italy, he’s a good player. He’s a midfield player that scores goals, he’s got experience.
“You’ve only got to look at Callum Hudson-Odoi potentially going for £35m, while Ramsey is going for free. One has potential, the other is absolutely proven,” he said.
Merson played for Arsenal from 1985 to 1997, and scored 78 goals for the team.