Don't write off Ramirez and Southampton just yet...

St Marys Southampton

Gaston Ramirez has been criticised in some quarters for making a 'bad career move' in signing for Southampton. Let's look at the positives.

It should not be forgotten admit all the soul searching at Southampton after their defeat at the Hawthorns on Monday night that better sides than them have been defeated by West Brom of late. Liverpool, Chelsea, and Everton are among the sides to lose there in 2012.

Substituted on 76 minutes, the midfielder was making only his third start at the club since signing on transfer deadline day. Yet critics have been quick to twist the knife into his choice of transfer and Southampton's poor form.

As far as we are concerned, it should definitely be a case of wait and see. 

While Ramirez appeared like a fully developed international star for Uruguay at the Olympics with his performances, it should not be forgotten he is only 21, and still only beginning his football career.

If anybody expected him to come in right away and dominate games then those expectations are quickly being rewound. It surely was no coincidence however that Southampton's best performance of the season, a 4-1 win over Aston Villa, was one he played in.

If Southampton do go down, then so be it, but Ramirez' career need not suffer as a result. Southampton aim to play the right way, and continuing to learn his trade with the side and play regularly can be no bad thing.

Now given the injuries at sides who chased him, Liverpool and Tottenham, the way it has worked out he probably would have got decent playing time at either club, but you can't blame him at 21 for picking a club where he knew he would be contender to start week in week out.

The good news for Southampton is Ramirez is back. Monday night was his first game since September, so to expect too much of him would be wrong. The Saints cannot expect the Uruguayan to drag him out of the whole they are in, even though he is capable of providing such inspiration. They are entitled to want performances from their record signing, but must remember he is still just 21.

A very good comparison supporters and the player himself must remember is Carlos Tevez. Fans were surprised when the Argentine, with an even bigger reputation, signed with West Ham in 2006, but the start to the season he had was poor and both he and Javier Mascherano were quickly written off.

At the end of the season he sprung into life, scoring goals which kept West Ham up and earned him a move to Manchester United. At this stage, both Southampton and Ramirez would both take a repeat.

So what its important to remember, is anything that happens over the next couple of months is a bonus, especially considering his injury lay-off, and the fact he did not get to share a pre-season with his new club. 

Look for him to kick on in the new year and Southampton too. Fans will just hope they are in touch with the teams above by then, and three points against Swansea this weekend would be a huge step forward.

image: © mischatuffield

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