Have you ever bought something gimmicky just to impress your friends and then regretted it later? In the fall of 1993, I confidently strolled into the first day of school rocking the LA Gear inflatable pump sneakers. And yes, they were called Regulators… mount up.
It immediately dawned on me that the pump was going to be a problem. Not just in the hallways, but in the middle of classes, friends, randoms, lunch ladies, would reach down to pump them up without any regard for my optimum ankle support. Not as well constructed as their more expensive Reebok counterpart, the pump blew after a couple weeks of excessive use leaving me with sad, broken, non-pump, sneakers.
With this story in mind, I have to warn the Reds, do not buy a gimmick player next summer just to impress your friends. It would be good for a few laughs to sign Aaron Ramsey on a free and see the reactions on Arsenal Fan TV, but he’s asking for massive wages and with Jordan Henderson’s shiny new contract there is no feasible place where he could play.
Ramsey’s agency last night addressed the contract situation in a series of tweets (now deleted): “There is nothing we can do, the club made a decision. Life goes on. It’s right [the grass] isn’t always greener and he [Aaron] didn’t want to leave but now there’s no other option.” pic.twitter.com/C8d4vEwsBq
— Arsènic™ (@MrArsenicTM) October 3, 2018
Maybe the ITK’s are just working overtime to generate clicks on this one, but the Ramsey to Liverpool rumours seem to have staying power this week even though this year’s marquee midfield signings can’t even make the bench some weeks let alone get in an actual match. The player’s agent has even been adding fuel to the fire, essentially saying his days at Arsenal are done. Ramsey will be 28 when his contract expires and the Wales international has enough trouble getting on the pitch for his current club, making 21 starts last season and only 13 Premier League starts in 2016/17.
Of course, a big part of his problem getting selected is his lack of availability. A UK midfielder who has trouble with injuries? I know you’re as shocked as me. But, unless the post Brexit quota for domestic players doubles there is no need to bring in a player like Ramsey. Proponents will tell you that 7 goals and 8 assists from a 5’ 10” midfielder would be a nice option to have off the bench. And there is some merit to that, but £200K per week would be an insane amount for that type of option. He would effectively be Liverpool’s answer to Fellaini. The reason Fellaini is useful at all to United is that they’re constantly finding themselves in desperate situations late in matches. Liverpool are levels above that and shouldn’t be considering change-up players like this unless they can check all of the other typical boxes.
If Liverpool wanted a tall midfielder who added goals, sure, sign me up for Lazio’s Milinkovic-Savic or Lyon’s Houssem Aouar. The transfer cost would be significant with either, but the wages, especially with Aouar, could be much lower than what is being talked about for Ramsey and you’d have a player without an injury history for the next decade rather than a couple of years.
Or… call me crazy, but Liverpool could just go ahead and play their £100m worth of midfield signings from last summer rather than picking Jordan Henderson at every opportunity. Naby Keita and Fabinho were two of Europe’s top midfield talents last season and can’t seem to get a game under Jurgen Klopp. Only Adam Lallana would seem destined for the exit door among the Reds’ current midfield crop, but Curtis Jones is knocking on the door and Grujic will be back from his loan in the summer to add to Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita, Fabinho and Chamberlain.
So would an Aaron Ramsey signing be good for a laugh at Arsenal’s expense? Sure, for a couple of weeks, but after his pump blows, what are you really left with?