Sensational Saints sign Gaston Ramirez
It had dragged on for so long even the most optimistic of fans had begun to lose belief that we could achieve it, but it has now been confirmed. We have obliterated our transfer record with the signing of 21 year old Uruguyan sensation Gaston Ramirez from Bologna for an as yet undisclosed fee believed to be £12 million.
Ramirez playing for his old club Bologna.
It's a move that will stun world football, Gaston Ramirez is now a Southampton player. The 21 year old was regarded as one of the best up-and coming players in Serie A with a string of composed and outstanding performances for Bologna last year. His 8 goals belied a player who was the creative force for a side expected to struggle, who instead finished 9th ahead of teams such as Fiorentina and Palermo.
Ramirez' performances in the Olympics for his country caught particular attention as he displayed exquisite energy and flair in his attempts to drive their campaign forward. A sparkling free kick against the United Arab Emirates was the only goal to show for his endeavour but a searing long range effort that struck the cross bar against Team GB as the game drew to a close very nearly saved the Uruguyans from elimination.
Ramirez had been on the horizon of Liverpool and Spurs but despite the apparent expert opinion of some pundits (I'm looking at you Mark Lawrenson....) he has instead moved to St Mary's stadium and become our record transfer by quite some distance. A newly promoted club hasn't signed a player in the manner since Middlesborough captured Fabrizio Ravanelli and Juninho the best part of 16 years ago. The drawn out nature of the deal which involved reaching an agreement not only with Bologna and Ramirez but also his old home town club Penarol who owned 30% of the players contract had left the deal looking close to collapse on many occasions. Thankfully, all parties managed to come to terms and Ramirez' future is now finalised.
While the sensationalist tone of this article may seem a little over the top, the fact that a club who was in league 1 only 15 months ago could sign one of the highest rated young talents in South American football is staggering. It is with hope that we look forward to seeing what Ramirez can do, welcome to the Saints Gaston.