Why Ramsey will become a complete midfield package at Juventus

Why Ramsey will become a complete midfield package at Juventus
2019-12-02 - 18:00
Aaron Ramsey’s capture by Juventus was no surprise whatsoever. It was just about a done deal after terms were agreed back in December and the minor details were sorted out in January.

It is fair to say that Arsenal are losing a top midfielder- a player who is unique by his own means. He won’t sit in like the other midfielders Juventus have. He isn’t in the mould of Blaise Matuidi, Sami Khedira, Emre Can or Miralem Pjanic. He might not have a a work-rate that soars around that of Matuidi. But his movement off the ball and the way he likes to move beyond the forward players.

Amidst disappointing times and times when there seemed to be gloom settling in, it was Ramsey who presented a ray of hope for the Gunners faithfuls. He scored vital goals for the club and was a shining light throughout, even when things weren’t right.

But it now comes down to Juventus. The man takes on a new adventure altogether. A bigger one and a more demanding one. And it isn’t more demanding because its a club that is aiming to win the Champions League, but because of the way it plays.

Ramsey adds more variety to the Juve midfield which is already blessed with a wealth of talent in that position. But there is no midfielder in there who does what Ramsey does- make runs beyond the striker and occupy very attacking positions around him. He may not have the work-rate of Matuidi or the steely grit of Khedira, but that is the most special thing about the Welshman.

But here is where you will doubt Ramsey at Juventus: is he the player who can operate in a structured setup like that? A system that is not as free-flowing as the one he has always played at Arsenal and thrives more on having a compact midfield.

Especially during the big games, Juve prefer to keep it tight in the heart of the park. Matuidi does the dirty work, tracking back and forth and circulates the ball forward. Pjanic is the creative spark, dictating everything from deep. And Khedira holds the side together, sitting in front of the back four.

Emre Can’s goal against Sassuolo is indicative of the fact that the midfielders can operate slightly further forward, but they won’t do it every single time. The side thrives on digging big games and managing them at will. Massimiliano Allegri makes sure that the midfielders don’t go missing from their positions in the heart of the park, as they make sure that the duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have a slightly easier task.

But the catch lies in how Juve are a side that have relied a lot on changing the attributes of a players, even if they are as old as 30 or 31 the way Khedira was. The German changed as a player; matured as a player when he arrived at Juve on a free transfer. So did Pjanic. And they changed for the better of Juventus. They fit into the style perfectly. And the effects are very clear on the way the bianconeri play.

And that is why it is tough to know where Ramsey would fit in at the club, if he plays regularly right when he joins. Granted, he’s a quality player but the player he is today isn’t exactly tailor made for the way Juve play.

But that is where you have to laud Juventus for being the club they are and the way they make transfers. Unlike how it was in the period around 2012, there was not much planning involved in the transfers the club made. Cheap players were signed for the sake of it sometimes. But today, Juventus are a cohesively structured club from top to bottom. They know what they do with every player. They know how he will be made to settle into the style they will approach during games.

Ramsey’s ability to go beyond the forward players won’t go away. The license to attack won’t be taken away from him at all. He’ll just be matured into a more complete player- someone who can do what he didn’t do at Arsenal. Paulo Dybala might struggle to play in the same side as Ramsey because both can occupy the similar positions when playing in a more attacking system.

But with talks about Khedira’s possible departure refusing to go away since last summer, Ramsey would become a midfielder that any top side in Europe would love to have. He may not be complete now, but he will be very complete at Juventus very soon.