Something that Arsenal fans are asking themselves in the past couple of days is: who is this Brazilian kid we’re being linked to?
But there’s no need to feel ignorant, as Ramires isn’t well known even in Brazil yet. With only 11 appearances for Bahia’s first team, he’s still navigating his first months as a professional and showing what he’s capable of.
Ramires is actually called Eric dos Santos Rodrigues. He’s got his nickname because he looks like the former Chelsea midfielder. And in Brazil, we all know that people don’t mind officially using nicknames.
The 18-year-old made his debut in a game for Bahia in early September, and that was enough for the club to be convinced of his qualities. That’s why they immediately offered him a new contract, extending the previous deal from 2019 to 2022.
Since then, Ramires has shown it was worth it. He’s been praised by every single commentator who works on Bahia’s games, especially for not feeling the pressure of playing against big clubs.
Although some websites call him a defensive midfielder, Ramires is actually a box-to-box player, and really shows his skills when building up attacking plays.
The youngster is quick, has a good reading of the game, plays well with both feet and is especially skilful. He’s not worried about dribbling past players in midfield, which may seem risky, but it’s still beautiful to see.
Regarding his defensive job, Ramires isn’t a genuine ball recoverer like Lucas Torreira or N’Golo Kante. But his stamina and good positioning make him a useful asset in that sector as a second or third man in midfield.
With such an early age, it’s impossible to tell if Ramires will have a good development to reach the level of a Premier League player one day, especially in case he stays in Brazil for such a short time.
But his first performances have been impressive, and that’s why it’s no surprise that Arsenal and Atletico Madrid have liked what they’ve seen. Maybe it would be worth waiting until the next summer to make a move, although it’s very likely that the competition will be much bigger by then.