Aaron Ramsey hasn’t adapted to Italian football and his shot at a Juventus career has been ruined by injuries… now he’s been ousted by Andrea Pirlo for the superb Weston McKennie, is there any way back?
- Poor form and fitness have plagued Aaron Ramsey’s two years at Juventus
- But now Juve boss Andrea Pirlo has found a replacement in Weston McKennie
- Ramsey’s injuries and high wages have made him a candidate to be moved on
- Both Pirlo and ex-manager Maurizio Sarri have struggled to find him a position
Aaron Ramsey’s Juventus career was already on the ropes but jabs over his lofty wages and fitness concerns may be followed by the knockout blow of manager Andrea Pirlo already having a replacement.
The emergence of American star Weston McKennie could mark the unofficial end of the Welshman’s time at the Allianz Arena.
Since joining Juve on a free transfer from Arsenal in 2019, Ramsey has been prone to injury and his £7million annual salary has become unsustainable, especially following the coronavirus outbreak, with his deal still having two years to run from this summer. In addition he has struggled to find his best form while adapting to the Italian game.
Aaron Ramsey has failed to hit his best form since joining Juventus in the summer of 2019
The midfielder was on target recently at Sampdoria but he has otherwise struggled to impress
Pirlo and previous manager Maurizio Sarri have tried to exploit the qualities of the Welsh star by inserting him in every area of the midfield: a defensive winger, a conventional winger, central midfielder and an attacking midfielder without ever being able to get 100 per cent from him.
Almost out of desperation Pirlo chose to try to replace Ramsey with the young Texan McKennie who in the space of a few weeks became a fundamental player in the 4-4-2 of the Bianconeri boss.
Unlike Ramsey, whose stamina has come under concern throughout his career in Serie A, McKennie is a dynamic and fast player who manages to transform 4-4-2 into 4-3-3 and 4-3-1-2 with his midfield movements.
Injury problems and difficulties adapting to the Italian game have limited Ramsey’s impact
Former manager Maurizio Sarri (left) and current boss Andrea Pirlo have tried many ways to get the Wales star ticking at the Allianz Stadium without much success
It’s a skill that Ramsey has not developed in the last 24 months, which has made it harder for Pirlo to get what he wants from the 30-year-old. McKennie has a salary equal to just a fifth of Ramsey’s and is eight years his junior, elements that make the United States international a valid asset to bet on in the future.
McKennie was brought in on loan from Schalke last summer with an obligation to buy and such is his impact, Juve’s chief football officer Fabio Paratici is ready to pay the £12m to make the deal permanent in the spring from the German outfit.
One of the biggest problems Ramsey faces is his physical frailty which prevents him from featuring consistently in the side. He has 14 appearances in Serie A this term – few considering he is only averaging just over 50 minutes per game in the Italian top flight.
Pirlo may give up on trying to develop Ramsey following the emergence of Weston McKennie
The 22-year-old on loan from Schalke has been a star in Pirlo’s midfield with his dynamism
Ramsey may be a midfielder who can improve a top European club but he does not have the strength, charisma and physical strength to establish himself in Serie A at 30 years old.
If the farewell to Arsenal was considered by all as a test of maturity for him, his Italian adventure has shown failure and it has lost him the greatest opportunity for international growth of his career.
The former Gunners favourite ended up in the shadow of players barely considered in Turin, even by the fans who have seen how he has struggled to find any sort of acceptable form, partly down to establishing muscle injuries.
McKennie has already largely matched Ramsey and has more potential to improve
Ramsey was a fan favourite at Arsenal but he has struggled to win over Juventus supporters
Since his arrival in Italy he has suffered 13 setbacks, too many for a player who has just turned 30. Pirlo has tried to build a 3-4-1-3 around him without any success. Ramsey also struggles to find a right place on the pitch and still seems unsure, too unsure, to become a Juventus leader.
Ramsey doesn’t seem suited to play in a two-man midfield. This tactical variation seems to have destabilised him by increasing his insecurities.
Struggles to play multiple games in a week have seen Pirlo and coach Paolo Bertelli micro manage him to just 50 per cent training in order to limit further fitness problems.
Muscle injuries have limited Ramsey from getting a consistent run in the Juventus first team
Pirlo continues to publically support Ramsey but the Welshman’s career in Turin could be coming to an end in the summer
In many press conferences Pirlo has always defended Ramsey, trying to praise his qualities, while underlining his immense physical problems: ‘Aaron we have to carefully manage him, we have to let him rest.
‘But when he is 100 per cent he can be decisive, I prefer to always have him on the pitch. He makes everyone play well but he has to be managed athletically.’
Despite these words of support, the feeling is that these are the last months of Ramsey’s Juventus career as the club look to asses ways to raise funds for their summer transfer business.
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