Charlie Nicholas thinks Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey will depart The Emirates Stadium at the end of the season because "he has to play the role he thrives in". The Wales international has largely been deployed as a holding midfielder by Arsene Wenger this season but is most effective when playing behind the striker.

Mesut Ozil seemingly has the central attacking midfield position nailed down at Arsenal, though concerns are growing over his recent form, and Sky Sports expert Nicholas, who enjoyed a five-year spell with the Gunners between 1983 and 1988, thinks the German's presence is proving to be somewhat of a hindrance for Ramsey.

"I think he'll (Ramsey) go," Nicholas told Sky Sports, reported by The Express. "I don't particularly blame him as he's not a deep midfield player and he has to play the role he thrives in for Wales. He won't play there because of (Mesut) Ozil so I think he will leave."

Arsenal beat off interest from the likes of Everton and Manchester United to sign Ramsey from Cardiff City for £5m in the summer of 2008, and the former Nottingham Forest loanee has managed to battle back from a horrific leg break sustained against Stoke City in 2010 to establish himself as an integral part of the first team set-up under Wenger.

Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury Getty Images

The 26-year-old produced his best form for Arsenal during the 2013/14 season but has not been able to replicate those fine performances consistently in recent campaigns. The Welshman has suffered his fair share of injuries - he is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained during his side's 2-1 defeat by Watford on January 31 - and has only managed to start six times in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal will be without Ramsey for their vital Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening and will also have to make do without long-term injury absentee Santi Cazorla and Lucas Perez, who is out with a hamstring problem.