What should Southampton do with Gaston Ramirez?

The Uruguayan playmaker has been on the fringes of things at St Mary’s – what should they do with him in January?

When Southampton signed Gaston Ramirez from Bologna in the summer of 2012, it was seen as something of a coup for the South coast side.

The Uruguay international has one of the brightest prospects in Serie A, and in the first six months of his time at St Mary’s looked like he had all the attributes to be a star in the Premier League.

However, with Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment and the adoption of a high pressing system that does not suit the South American, his chances to play have been limited.

Ramirez is yet to start a game for Southampton in the Premier League this season, but did net his first goal of the campaign against Everton last time out.

With the January transfer window upon us, there are plenty of rumours linking the South American with a move away from the club – but what should Southampton do?

There is certainly a case to suggest that Ramirez does not fit into Pochettino’s ethos and as such should be sold. The playmaker would still command a heft transfer fee, which could be put to better use with a new face as a replacement.

With the World Cup next summer in his thoughts, Ramirez will be keen for first-team football and as such would surely be open to a transfer.

However, there is also an argument to suggest that Ramirez is on of the club’s most technically gifted players but has not been given a chance to fully shine as yet.

Looking at the foreign players that Southampton have brought in of late, it is evident that the side are looking for quality, not quantity. There have been a number of players that have moved to St Mary’s slightly unexpectedly given the team’s relatively new status in the top flight, and they have pulled off some exceptional coups in the transfer market.

Gaston Ramirez’s addition last summer was something of a surprise given the Uruguayan’s standing in the game, and he has been followed to the south coast by the likes of Victor Wanyama, Dejan Lovren and Pablo Osvaldo. All international-calibre players who can help the young stars to develop and will slot straight into the starting XI.

It is evident that instead of filling his squad with foreign imports, Mauricio Pochettino has focused on signing players that will benefit the team and make them better. As a result there are few foreign fringe players – instead the young stars of the academy are progressed through the ranks. In the Saints’ last Premier League game, five of the seven substitutes were from the UK.

Southampton is a club that Roy Hodgson and Greg Dykes should be using as a blueprint for others to follow if England are to challenge internationally again. Their blend of top-quality foreign signings and a productive youth system is refreshing.

image: © jikatu

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