Southampton Transfer Focus – Italian giants target Saints’ star Ramirez

One of the key players behind Southampton’s survival in their first year back in the Premier League was club record signing Gaston Ramirez. He scored five goals in 26 appearances and has been identified as an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s future plans. However, after just a year away from Italian football, there is a chance this bright young talent could be tempted back to Serie A with rumours of interest from the likes of Juventus and Inter.

Both player and manager have remained fairly quiet on the subject, leaving an air of uncertainty surrounding Ramirez’s future. When he joined the south coast side he was quoted saying: “They are going to pay me a lot of money,” suggesting that his loyalties to Southampton are financially based and he could be easily led away from the Premier League side. Pochettino has not commented on the topic but he is likely to be worried about the possibility of losing one of his top players.

Ramirez entered some outstanding performances in his debut campaign, showing why there is so much interest in him from bigger clubs. His flair going forward and technical ability is undeniable, and with excellent dribbling skills and precision passing he can cause serious problems for defenders. He certainly suited the way Southampton played this season.

He was surrounded by a talented squad and led by a mindful tactician, but few surpassed Ramirez’s talent and ability to change a game. One very notable performance would be against Newcastle at Saint Mary’s. He was too hot to handle for the Magpies’ defence, scoring one and setting up the other in solid 2-0 win for the Saints.

If Ramirez left the club he would leave a rather obvious whole in the teams attacking line up, with the only other attacking midfielder in the squad being Guly, who is a solid player, but would not match up to the man he was replacing. This would leave Pochettino with a dilemma and there would be the definite need to bring in some more creative talent.

Espanyol’s Joan Verd

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