Football News

Rabiot can fill the Ramsey void at Arsenal, insists Pires

By William Eldridge

Published: 12:56, 5 March 2019 | Updated: 13:45, 13 March 2019

Arsenal should replace outgoing midfielder Aaron Ramsey with Paris Saint-Germain star Adrien Rabiot, according to former Gunners winger Robert Pires. 

Unai Emery’s men came to within one penalty kick from taking all three points in their 1-1 north London derby draw away to Tottenham this weekend.

Ramsey out, Rabiot in? Five things you need to know…

  1. Ramsey and Arsenal couldn’t agree on a deal to keep the Welshman at the club.
  2. With his contract expiring this summer, Ramsey has agreed to join Serie A giants Juventus at the end of the season.
  3. Rabiot, whose contract is also set to expire this summer, looks set to leave PSG on a free transfer.
  4. The Gunners have been advised to make a move for the midfielder by club legend Pires.
  5. Their chances of success may hinge on their pursuit of a Champions League place.

Former Arsenal man Pires spoke to reporters about replacing Ramsey, who put the Gunners ahead against Spurs with a well-taken goal.

Pires believes PSG’s Rabiot is a good fir for Emery, who worked alongside the talented midfield while he was in charge at the French club prior to his move to England.

Pires told the Mirror: “Arsenal have the advantage of Emery having already worked with him at PSG, which should hopefully sway Rabiot to join Arsenal.

“He would be worth a big fee on the transfer market so the fact he’s free makes it a no brainer.

“If Emery can secure Rabiot then I think he’ll be able to fill the hole that will be left by Ramsey’s departure.”

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Emery sees Rabiot in defensive role

Despite the fact that Emery has worked alongside Rabiot at PSG, it seems as though the current Gunners boss doesn’t believe Rabiot as a like-for-like replacement for the outgoing Ramsey.

Working intensely with Rabiot, Emery is in a fantastic position to know what the player can and can’t do and believes the Frenchman’s qualities are suited to a defensive role.

Emery spoke extensively about Rabiot earlier this year: “He’s a central midfielder, who is more comfortable playing as a defensive midfielder rather than a creative one.

“Even if he remains more of box-to-box, rather than a defensive midfielder.

“When you want to play with a defensive, creative and box-to-box-midfielders in fixed positions, Rabiot finds himself confronted to a problem.

“He has to run, run, run and not play in a fixed position statically. And even less so with his back turned on the action.

“Rabiot doesn’t really like playing as a defensive midfielder, he likes playing as a box-to-box, but I prefer him as a defensive midfielder.

“That’s why after the elimination against Real Madrid [in the 2017/18 Champions League], I told him he would play as a defensive midfielder.”