Why Ramires sale is a Chelsea masterstroke
This week, after a six year spell at Stamford Bridge, Ramires finally departed Chelsea for Chinese side Jiangsu Suning for a fee in the region of £25 million. The surprising move has cut an end to an impressive tenure that saw the Brazilian garner the Champions League and Premier League titles.
The 28-year-old has been a loyal servant for the Blues and his unrelenting effort was a refreshing sight. Furthermore, his uncanny knack of popping up with crucial goals saw him become popular with the supporters even if he never consistently made the starting XI.
However, although Ramires was undoubtedly an asset to Chelsea and a guardian of the jersey, his sale may prove a step in the right direction for the Blues. His departure may open the door for youth players at Stamford Bridge and mark the beginning of a clear out at Stamford Bridge. Besides, if Chelsea are to emerge from their rut, changes need to be made.
Whilst some criticism has rooted from the move, it can be seen as a positive. Chelsea are losing a superb player but they are equally showing faith in youth.
The Blues’ underuse of their academy has been high publicised recently and despite admirable form, players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek have failed to nail down a place in the match day squad. This is remarkable considering the club finds itself in 13th place. Whilst Guus Hiddink is far from as stubborn as Jose Mourinho, there remains an underlying lack of faith in youth.
Selling Ramires may prove one of the first signs of Chelsea clearing out some baggage and allowing the space to be filled by academy players. Loftus-Cheek and co. should be buoyed by this move, even if it is yet to be seen whether a replacement will simply be plucked from the transfer market. Ramires was never a large part of the picture in Chelsea’s season anyway, so in shepherding the Brazilian out the exit, the passage to first team football has become clearer for the youth.
In addition, the Ramires move has reaped substantial financial reward. Consequently, even if the move doesn’t see more youth filter into the first team squad, at least Blues supporters can appreciate the economic nous shown. Having signed the Brazilian for €22 million in 2010, they have made a handsome profit in offloading him for £25 million.
Chelsea have been largely erratic in the transfer window recently, so fans should be excited by the fact they’ve managed to garner profit. Besides, £25 million is large fee for a player who has been on the fringes of the starting XI this campaign.
The transfer may also prove a reality check for other members of the Chelsea squad who may not be pulling their weight. With the club lingering in mid table, a number of players have been subjected to prominent criticism yet this is the first time Chelsea have acted and sold. This may prove particularly concerning as Ramires’ form this campaign has been far from poor when compared to players such as Nemanja Matic.
As a result, this may backhandedly stimulate better performances from Chelsea players considered of being sold themselves. The transfer may prove the long awaited reminder that if underperformance continues, the Blues may cash in while they can. Chelsea need to be cruel to kind and showing willing to sell may stimulate the incentive for flops to snap out of their poor form and fight for their place.
The judgement of when to sell Ramires has also proven impeccable. Perhaps the Brazilian’s most appetising trait is his jaw dropping athleticism and unrivalled effort for the cause. However, the longer Chelsea had waited to sell him, the more this characteristic would have petered away with his age.
Subsequently, in opening the door for a sale now, not only have they milked six years out of the midfielder but have cashed in whilst other clubs remain seduced by his effort and desire.
On the whole, whilst it will be sad for Chelsea fans to see one of their most loyal and passionate servant leave, the move may prove a largely positive one. In opening the door for youth, they are making a step in the right direction in ensuring they focus on their future and wriggle out of their struggles.
However, above all, for a club so eager to fling money in any direction, the financial nous and timing of the move proves particularly admirable. Well done Mr. Abramovich.
Kobe Tong, YJA Senior Correspondent