Tomas Rosicky may be 34 going on 25, but this is quite likely to be his final few months with the Gunners after nine-and-a-half years at the club.
The Czech star has endured a horrid time with injuries in Arsenal colours since his move from Borussia Dortmund in 2006, and has even suggested his ‘playing age’ is two-three years younger than his actual age. And you can see that in his play since Christmas. Storming forward, tracking back, slide tackling, scoring goals. Rosicky has been immense.
He has thrived sitting a little deeper recently, but like Özil and Cazorla is most comfortable as the No.10. Despite his brilliant form though, it is difficult to see him playing regularly. Aaron Ramsey will no doubt be chosen over the Czech due to the Welshman’s all round game. He has a bit more of an engine, which is not surprising considering he is 10 years Rosicky’s junior.
Jack Wilshere is also closing in on a return to fitness, and will only make Rosicky’s inclusion more difficult; not to mention the need to integrate Özil. He is clearly someone who thrives when playing regularly rather than a bit-part role, but may struggle for the remainder of the season.
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Rosicky is special, but is not irreplaceable. Wenger clearly sees Ramsey and Wilshere as above him in the pecking order, but at present Rosicky is undroppable. Does Wenger share the same opinion? We will certainly see on Sunday.
With another week before the North London Derby it seems the Arsenal boss is less likely to rotate, but in the coming weeks we may see a little more of Rosicky when the Champions League and FA Cup matches come thick and fast among the Premier League ties.
With that in mind, we need to enjoy Rosicky while his deal lasts. The veteran’s contract expires next summer, and he may look to further his career elsewhere. It’s obvious he still has plenty in his tank to push on at the top level for at least another season, and unfortunately that means parting ways with the Gunners.
The 34-year-old may of course value the fact that he can be used sparingly, and not overused due to his horrific injury record; we are after all building something special. However, it seems likely this will be his final season in red and white, mainly due to the fact he could be the focal point of a top side somewhere else.
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