Martin Keown says he is astonished Arsenal have told Aaron Ramsey he will be leaving the club next summer.
Ramseys current deal at the Emirates expires at the end of the season and the Wales star expected to sign a contract extension.
But the Gunners shelved contract talks with Ramsey last month and told him in a face-to-face meeting this week that he would not be offered new terms.
Ramsey has spent over a decade at the north London club, playing over 300 games and helping Arsenal win three FA Cup titles.
Asked about Arsenals decision to sell Ramsey for nothing next summer, Keown told the Daily Mail: From the clubs point of view, they have made a decision and are not letting themselves be dictated to by a player.
If they wanted to keep him, they surely would have left the door open and tried to find a solution financially.
I expect Ramsey to continue to be 100 per cent committed to the cause. He is a fantastic professional who will give everything to the football club.
But I do find it staggering that the contract offer has been removed. When you think about how much it will cost to replace a player like Ramsey, it is astonishing that he will be allowed to leave.
The club must have already identified targets who they feel represent better value for money.
In an interview at the weekend, Raul Sanllehi – Arsenals head of football – said that they started identifying last summers signings in February and March.
At that time, Arsene Wenger was still in charge. Unai Emery had not been appointed. Who is making the decisions on transfers? And how privy is the manager to these decisions?
Arsenal have made an impressive start to the new campaign, winning 11 consecutive games in all competitions before drawing 2-2 with Crystal Palace last weekend.
The Gunners welcome high-flying Liverpool to the Emirates on Saturday and Keown wants his former club to produce a huge performance.
I think this will be a 2-2 draw. Liverpool will go for them but Arsenal have a formidable home record, he added.
If Arsenal want to make that step back into the top four, they cannot afford to lose this game.
The fans want to see Arsenal getting results against the big teams.