Southampton rounded off their transfer business for the summer last week by snapping up the highly-rated Gaston Ramirez from Bologna on a four-year contract. The 21-year-old moves to St Mary’s for an undisclosed fee after the Saints – in a clear statement of intent for the season ahead – beat off several leading clubs to acquire his services:
Nigel Adkins was clearly delighted upon completion of the surprise deal, with Ramirez expected to be installed immediately into the Saints first XI ahead of the Gameweek 4 trip to Arsenal:
A lot of hard work has gone in from the Football Club with a lot of negotiations behind the scenes to get this deal done. Great credit to everyone because we have a young, exciting talent joining us who is one of the best around. The Chairman has gone and backed this deal big-time with the financial outlay, and what we have got is one of the most exciting prospects in world football coming to St Mary’s. There is a lot of ambition at the Football Club and we are all delighted that Gaston is going to come and join us.
Ramirez’s career began in his native country as an 18-year-old with Penarol. The winger remained there for a season and a half, with six goals in 20 league matches helping his side win the Uruguayan Primera Division in 2009/10. His displays quickly caught the eye of Bologna, with the Italian side snapping up the youngster for a bargain €2.5m in August 2010.
Installed as a key member of their first XI, Ramirez produced four goals and a couple of assists over 16 starts and nine sub appearances in his first season is Serie A. The 2011/12 campaign saw Ramirez step up in performance, though, helping the club to a ninth placed finish, with eight goals and five assists over 33 league appearances indicative of his burgeoning talent. In terms of internationals, he has turned out for his country at U20 and U23 level and represented the senior side on 10 occasions.
The Uruguayan’s close control and superb dribbling ability, allied with a keen eye for a long range strike, will considerably bolster Adkins’ offence. Able to play on either wing or in “the hole”, Ramirez should fit seamlessly into the Saints’ new 4-3-2-1 system, with a role on the flank in support of Rickie Lambert looking likely.
While Fantasy owners of Adam Lallana have seen the midfielder’s potential dip after a couple of appearances in central midfield, Ramirez looks assured of a more attacking berth, with his arrival set to have a major knock-on effect on the game time of Jason Puncheon. Ramirez’s set-piece capabilities could also see him rival Lallana and Lambert for a share of direct free-kicks; another factor to consider when assessing his potential.
Despite three defeats so far, Southampton clearly have goals in them. Braces against City and United are indicative of their threat up front and suggest they may be better suited to counter more attack-minded teams – a fact backed up by their inability to register a goal in the Gameweek 2 home defeat at the hands of Wigan. Lambert, with strikes against both Manchester clubs, has already shown he can flourish and if Ramirez can hit the ground running, he could well offer us a decent mid-price options for those Fantasy managers looking for alternatives to the current template midfields.
Coming in at 6.0 in Fantasy Premier League, the new boy costs the same as Lallana, though the Sky Sports game has handed him a 5.5 valuation; the priciest of Southampton’s midfield. In the short-term, the fixture list is relatively reasonable; trips to Arsenal and Everton look tough, though home clashes against Villa and Fulham in the next four will surely offer Adkins’ side the chance of producing. Already adrift at the bottom of the league, Southampton desperately need to start picking up the points their performances have perhaps merited – Ramirez may well be key to their chances of doing so.
Commenting is now closed for this post.
For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“I understand you don't consider Dempsey a striker. He has developed into playing in different positions, but for me he is a pure striker. ”Andre Villas-Boas reveals his views on Clint Dempsey's best position.