Liverpool ‘target’ Gastón Ramírez has chance to shine at the Olympics
“An economically viable offer would be almost impossible to turn down.” Those were the words of Bologna manager Stefano Pioli earlier this week, when asked about the potential future of midfield scarlet Gastón Ramírez last week. The arrival of fellow attacking midfielder Cristian Pasquato on loan from Udinese could see El Niño leave the club after two years in northern Italy
The Uruguayan international has proved to be a hit in the city of cuisine following a €3m transfer from Peñarol in 2010. At the tender age of 18 the attacking midfielder was thrown in at the deep end, making 27 appearances in his first season. Ramírez quickly adapted to his surroundings both on and off the pitch, fitting in perfectly with a strong contingent of fellow countrymen at the Rossoblu that often meet for ‘steak nights’. The playmaker has also been known to wander the streets of Bologna, making casual conversation with the locals, and has in the process turned into a fan-favourite.
Back on the pitch, Ramírez quickly became renowned for his dazzling skills and blistering turn of pace. Both of which have left many a Serie A defender flatfooted and unlocked traditionally tight Italian midfields. The creator almost looks uncoordinated on the ball, towering over his opponents at 6ft, but he somehow finds the space to dictate the play. Comparisons have been drawn with former Milan man Ricardo Kaká, as the players share a similar style in the way they cover tremendous amounts of ground in the final third of the pitch. The 20-year-old is also able to finish as many opportunities as he creates, scoring eight goals from midfield in the league alone last term.
Ramírez has at times shown slightly too much grinta (willingness), which has resulted in him picking up as many yellow cards as he scored goals last season. That could easily be attributed to his strong character, however. Opposition defences have attempted to intimidate him in the past, but it often works in Bologna’s favour as they win countless free-kicks. A more physical league could see the lanky playmaker struggle to make an impact, but his apparent strong persistence to better himself as a footballer should iron out any deficiencies.
While Bologna have provided the ideal environment for Ramírez to settle into the rigors of European football, they remain a mid-table side at best. Their last campaign proved successful, as they moved from fighting relegation battles in previous years before to finishing comfortably in ninth last term. A substantial investment in the squad would be needed to compete for a Europa League place.
Over the past year senior scouts from both Manchester City and Liverpool FC have been in regular attendance at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, in the hope of catching a glimpse of Ramírez in full flow. Bologna have already lost star-striker Marco Di Vaio to the Montreal Impact this summer, but the club have prepared contingency plans should the Uruguayan up sticks and move. The £16m transfer fee alone should be enough to scour the globe for a younger suitable replacement, should the current squad not provide one.
Despite the fact rumours of a potential move to England have cooled in recent days, El Niño would certainly be ready to make the jump across the continent. He has shown his ability to adapt, and has learnt valuable lessons since moving to Italy. Continental outfits would want to hurry along, however, as both Juventus and Napoli have been linked in recent days. There appears to be no frontrunner for the player’s signature, but that could all change before the end of the transfer window.
Having already scored for Uruguay in their preparations for the Olympic Games in less than a week’s time, Ramírez will be hungry to impress potential suitors on the world stage. British audiences will get an even closer look at Bologna’s boy as the two sides have been drawn in the same group.Tagged in: football, Liverpool
Recent Posts on Football
- New day (slowly) rising - As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
- A changing of the guards in English football: From Sir Alex Ferguson to Jose Mourinho
- Nike kit deal puts England at No 2 in the world (but which country is top?)
- PSG and the French league must be more proactive in dealing with hooliganism
- The ghost at the feast: Luiz Felipe Scolari hopes that dropping Ronaldinho for the Confederations Cup won't come back to haunt Brazil
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter