Arsenal fan column: All Guns Blazing – Why do Juventus have a chokehold over the Gunners in transfer dealings?
- Credit: Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH
On former Bianconeri Liam Brady’s 63rd birthday and with Aaron Ramsey off to Turin in the summer on a free transfer Arsenal writer Art De Roche examines Juventus strange hold over the Gunners in the transfer market in our latest fan column All Guns Blazing.
Aaron Ramsey’s move to Juventus comes off the back of more disappointing handling of contract renewals from Arsenal.
The result being Ramsey agreeing a pre-contract which will see him join Juventus in the summer.
A move that recalls Liam Brady’s transfer to Juventus in 1980 after seven years at Highbury. Brady went on to win two Serie A titles, something Ramsey would hope to equal if not better.
But this free transfer continues the chokehold the Italian giants currently have over Arsenal.
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Over the past couple of years, there have been four players who have made the switch between North London and Turin. Unfortunately for Arsenal, they haven’t come out on top in any of these dealings.
The first takes us back to the summer of 2017. After two impressive seasons on loan at Roma, it was time for Wojciech Szczesny to return to Arsenal. But with Petr Cech Arsenal’s established number one with David Ospina behind him, Szczesny was let go.
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At the time it seemed like a strange decision by the club and it seems even stranger now. Once Szczesny adapted to Italy, his quality shone through. In his second season at Roma he won the Serie A’s golden glove, beating keepers like Gianluigi Buffon and Pepe Reina to the prize.
After spending last season as Buffon’s understudy at Juve, the Pole has taken to the number one role with ease. He played a huge part in their early-season run of 15 unbeaten games across all competitions, missing just one game.
With Cech retiring in the summer and Ospina looking to be on his way out of the club, Juventus definitely dealt with their goalkeeping situation better than Arsenal. Especially considering Szczesny cost them just £15m.
Juve gave Arsenal a freebie last summer, however. But an aging Stephan Lichsteiner isn’t quite the same as Szczesny and Ramsey reaching their peaks.
Despite an encouraging start to his Arsenal career, the 35-year-old has declined drastically. Looking increasingly off the pace of the Premier League as the weeks pass and with Hector Bellerin sidelined, the versatile Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been trusted more than Lichsteiner at right back.
Thankfully, the 21-year-old has performed consistently enough to merit a place in the team there. Even if most would like to see him further forward.
Another Arsenal player who saw greener grass at Juventus was Stephy Mavididi. An encouraging prospect who had loan spells at Charlton and Preston North End, he moved to Italy last summer and has spent most of his time in Juve’s U23s.
With all that said, no one can fault Ramsey as the latest Arsenal-Juventus transfer. His achievements across his 11 years at the club will never be forgotten and even in the final year of his contract, he showed a commendable attitude towards Arsenal.
But yet again, Juventus have outdone Arsenal in the transfer market.