Jérémie Aliadière has slammed Arsenal for allowing Aaron Ramsey to leave on a free because they struggle to attract the best players in the world.
The former Gunners striker came through the ranks at Highbury in his early career, playing alongside the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry in north London.
At the peak of his powers, Arsene Wenger masterminded the club to a Premier League title without losing a game in 2004.
However, as the Frenchman’s power began to wane, so did the club and the club’s hierarchy decided to replace Wenger with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery in the summer.
And the club will have to delve into the transfer window to replace another key figure at the Emirates when Ramsey joins Juventus in the summer – a decision the former Middlesborough and Leyton Orient striker cannot comprehend.
Aliadière told Jim White on talkSPORT: “It pains me every time I get to the Emirates and I see lately how well he is performing, knowing he won’t be there next season.
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“Having such a talent – and he is a team player – he will work for the team, he will do anything for the team before himself.
“He will see the benefit of the team.
“And just losing a player like this on a free, for me, is criminal.
“Arsenal has become a club which doesn’t attract too many top players because you just don’t really know what direction they are going in.
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“Which, with Arsene Wenger for 22 years, was the same direction.
“These days, it’s like everybody is a bit in limbo – you don’t really know if they are going to be there next season or not which is difficult for everybody.”
“It pains me every time I see him, knowing he won’t be there next season.”
“Losing him on a free is criminal.“
“Arsenal’s become a club that doesn’t attract too many top players now.”
It seems Arsenal have been lucky when it comes French club Lorient.
They signed defender Laurent Koscielny from there in 2010 and appear to have plucked another gem Matteo Guendouzi.
Last month the midfielder revealed talks with former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere – a Lorient team-mate – convinced him to snub the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund and sign for the Gunners.
The 19-year-old has played in all four Premier League games so far under manager Unai Emery and has excited Gooners.
“It’s true there were a lot of clubs interested in me — I had talks with some of the biggest clubs in Europe,” Guendouzi revealed.
“But as soon as I heard from Arsenal, the decision was very simple and I’m very happy to be here.
“I did speak to Jeremie about Arsenal and he said it’s a place where I can progress and learn a great deal from the staff here.
“He always spoke very positively and that made me feel very confident in the choice that I’d made. It’s the club of my heart.
“There have been a lot of French players here and Thierry Henry is a symbol in France after his long career here. I used to watch Arsenal games with my father and it has a special place in my heart.”
And Aliadiere, 35, has confirmed he did give his former club a glowing reference.
“I knew when I first saw Matteo that he had something special and that a lot of clubs would be after him,” he said.
“I said to him that for his development Arsenal would definitely be the right place for him. You can go to big clubs and never get a chance but Arsenal always give you a chance to their young players.”
Aliadiere came through the Gunners’ academy, having joined at 16, before making his debut in the 2001/02 season. He never managed to nail down a regular first team spot, but has fond memories of the club he left for good in 2007.
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Despite starting the tournament relatively slowly, Pogba came to life with a brilliant performance against La Albiceleste; he dominated the midfield area, launching numerous attacks by utilising his brilliant range of passing.
He was praised for his leadership abilities, and this is the kind of showing many want to see from Pogba on a weekly basis playing for Manchester United.
Since rejoining the Red Devils from Juventus in summer 2016, the defining characteristic of Pogba’s career has been a lack of consistency, with a world class performance one week followed by a lethargic one the next.
Much of the criticism for Pogba’s struggles at Old Trafford has been directed at Mourinho, the United manager, with many believing the midfielder would look better playing for a more offensive team, such as local rivals Manchester City.
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And Frenchman Aliadiere, who spent six years contracted to Arsenal, feels Mourinho is preventing Pogba from joining the elite players at the pinnacle of the world game.
Speaking to the Weekend Sports Breakfast, Pogba said: “When you train with a manager day in, day out you get that momentum, and if that manager doesn’t let you play the way you want to play football, it’s difficult to switch as soon as you get in the French squad.
“The players that are performing now have been performing all year, and they’ve been ready and training all year. It’s not just ‘here’s the World Cup. I haven’t performed all season for Man United, but now I’m going to do it for France’.
“I remember him at Juventus, before he joined Man United, and he was a completely different player.
“I’m feeling a bit that Jose Mourinho doesn’t really give him what he needs to get to the next level, and to carry on performing like he used to.”
Some of the criticisms directed at Pogba at club level have also dogged him on the international stage, with his lack of consistency showing up when the 25-year-old represents Les Bleus.
Discussing Pogba’s international career, Aliadiere explained how the population of France view the midfielder.
“Some games he wants to play and is brilliant, and other games he’s just very nonchalant,” he continued. “You just don’t feel he gives 100 per cent, or he’s fighting or working hard.
“That’s what we all kind of feel [about Pogba] in France.
“Yesterday he had a graet game because the players around him had a good game, so he kind of feels like ‘oh good, we are all having a good game, everybody’s turned up today so let’s have fun’.
“But when we really need him, and the team needs him in the middle with the ball to come forward, sometimes he’s not really there.
“It’s a mixed feeling with him.”
talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.
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