Born in Fray Bentos, Gastòn Ramírez is canned and ready for consumption and Liverpool will have to move quickly before one of Italy’s big clubs get their teeth into the young Uruguayan playmaker.
One of the pleasures of watching Italian football in these hard days of austerity is witnessing a talented young player make his first innocent steps in the European game.
A couple of seasons ago it was Alexis Sanchez whose dazzling dribbling and eye for goal led to a big-money move from Udinese to Barcelona in the summer. And when the club from Friuli, who continue to confound everyone with their free-flowing attacking approach, searched around for a ready-made replacement for their Chilean whizz they initially plumped for Gastòn Ramírez.
However, a much cheaper option presented itself when the Udinese scouts unearthed Romanian Gabriel Torje and the Fray Bentos-born starlet was left on the shelf. There were reports of potential switches to the likes of AS Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina but it seems that they were more hopeful thinking by the Uruguayan’s agent Vincenzo D'Ippolito, who of course threw of name of Manchester City into the mix, than anything concrete.
Considering the fact that Ramírez does not turn 21 until December there is no need to tout the youngster around like a slab of meat because his talent will find its way to the top table very soon.
Arriving on the well-trodden path from Peñarol to Europe at the start of last season, Bologna were in no hurry to throw the young South American into at times brutal world of Serie A where one-touch too many could cost a player an extended period on the sidelines.
It will be up to Liverpool to prise Ramírez away from a league where he has all the makings of becoming a very tasty main dish indeed
Adapting to a new set of circumstances has found many a player lacking, but not Ramírez who immediately impressed with his ability to choose the right moment to release the ball in the most dangerous area of the pitch: the final third.
Standing at 6ft he is not easily knocked off the ball but more than physical strength his deft touch gives him that vital extra space to wriggle his way through the maze of opposition players who crowd the do-or-die midfield area of Italian football.
Having started out as a winger and predominantly left-footed, he was employed on the right side in a more advanced position much as AC Milan had done with Ricky Kaka on the left in his early days at the Milanese club.
In fact, there are plenty of similarities between the pair: elegant running style, pacy and with that natural ability to anticipate how a move will pan out which enables him to arrive in the area at just the right moment where fortunately his heading ability is as formidable as his shooting.
Like the Kaka of former years, Ramírez possesses an excellent temperament which has ensured that his suspensions have been kept to a minimum. He also proved to be a resourceful character who faced with the icy Bolognese winter embraced his new surroundings by flinging on an extra layer or two to get out and meet the locals and get to grips with a new language.
There is plenty of maturity in one so tender in age especially playing in a struggling side whose ambitions go no further than avoiding the drop – which in turn has further impressed a number of Italian clubs much further up the pecking order.
Bologna have reluctantly conceded that they cannot hold on to their star asset and Fiorentina would like nothing more than to dovetail him alongside the equally talented Stevan Jovetić in a trequartista pairing made in heaven, so it will be up to Liverpool to prise Ramírez away from a league where he has all the makings of becoming a very tasty main dish indeed.
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