Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has confirmed Aaron Ramsey has played his last game for the club, with captain Laurent Koscielny praising the departing midfielder’s commitment in recent months.
Ramsey will leave for Juventus in the summer, having agreed to join the Serie A giants on a free transfer when his Gunners contract expires.
The 28-year-old injured his hamstring during the second leg of Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final victory over Napoli and, while Emery’s original estimate was that Ramsey could be back within two or three weeks, he will now miss the remainder of the season.
Emery’s side take on Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night, having lost all three games without Ramsey since he was forced off in Naples.
But, even if Arsenal reach the final in Baku on May 29, Emery conceded the game would come too quickly for Ramsey to be involved.
Asked if there was any chance of Ramsey playing in the final, Emery replied: “At the moment we are only in the semi-final, and secondly the prognosis is not okay for this date.
“He is important for us. We cannot use him and the danger is always there for a forward player like that.
“We have players who can play (in that position), but he was in a good moment when he had this injury.
“For me it was a good experience to work with every player and with him especially, because he can transmit his energy and he showed me his heart is red with Arsenal.
“I wanted to enjoy with him. I said to him one month ago that I wanted to do something important in his last matches with us at the moment – maybe he can come back in the future. It will not be with him on the pitch but he is still with us.”
Press Association Sport understands Arsenal are liaising with Juventus over his recovery and the Wales international is expected to be fit in time for start pre-season in Turin.
It is also understood that the club are planning to hold a guard of honour for Ramsey and retiring goalkeeper Petr Cech after Sunday’s match against Brighton at the Emirates, their final Premier League home game of the season.
Koscielny will lead Arsenal out against Valencia almost a year to the day since he suffered a serious Achilles injury in last season’s Europa League semi-final defeat at Atletico Madrid which saw him sidelined for seven months and miss France’s World Cup win.
Mesut Ozil is in the squad for Thursday’s clash with Valencia after missing the 3-0 weekend defeat at Leicester with a bruised foot, while Nacho Monreal also trained following a groin injury.
Meanwhile, Denis Suarez will return to parent club Barcelona after his unsuccessful loan move was cut short due to a groin injury.
Valencia head coach Marcelino insists Arsenal’s current poor form will have no impact.
Marcelino says recent defeats to Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester are of no interest to him – instead pointing to Arsenal’s comfortable quarter-final win over Napoli as his reference point.
“They easily eliminated Napoli,” he said.
“That is the reference for us. They are a great side with huge potential and are strong at home.
“It will be tough for us and I hope it will be for them as well. We need to play each minute as (if) it was the last.
“Past results don’t matter. We know their players can adapt to these situations and they will want an advantage in the first leg. We are a tough team to play at our place – it is a tough stadium to go to.”
Valencia captain Dani Parejo was at the club during Emery’s tenure as head coach, the pair working together for two years.
The former Real Madrid youngster professed surprise at Emery chopping and changing his tactics and has targeted Arsenal’s defence – which conceded three goals in each of their last three games – ahead of the first leg.
“I worked with him for a year,” he said of Emery.
“I was young. I believe that coaches have their own playing style and always try to use that style regardless of which team they are coaching.
“I am surprised that he changed his system – they don’t use a back four example. But his team compete and play good football.
“It will be a tough one as they have a good team. They have been conceding in recent games and let’s hope we can take advantage and get a good result tomorrow.”