Watford would be very clever to offload Holebas and replace him with this 24-year-old Argentine ace

Watford opinion: Should Watford sign Cristian Ramirez?

Watford have been brilliant this campaign and their quality of football has been on the rise since the arrival of Javi Gracia at the club. The Hornets are battling for 7th place with Wolverhampton Wanderers as they look to qualify for the Europa League next season.

Jose Holebas has been one of Watford’s most important players since his arrival from Roma in 2015 but the Greek will turn 35 this summer. Adam Masina has been decent when given a chance but Watford need a quality replacement for Holebas and Cristian Ramirez would be a top fit for the London side.

Despite being born in the Dominican Republic, Ramirez represents Ecuador at the international level. The 24-year-old started his career in Ecuador and made his debut for Independiente DV in 2011.

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Ramirez went out on trial to top European clubs like Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 but couldn’t complete moves due to UEFA regulations. However, a year later, the Ecuadorian made his awaited move to Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Ramirez, unfortunately, couldn’t make it in the Bundesliga then and moved to Hungarian side Ferencvaros, initially on loan but permanently later on. He won the title in 2016 and also 3 domestic cups in his time there.

His real rise to fame was when he moved to current club Krasnodar in January 2017. His pace and dribbling skills have lit up the Russian Premier League and he is a fan favourite at the club.

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Ramirez uses his low centre of gravity to good effect as he gets away from defenders with sharp turns. Despite his 5ft 9in frame, the Ecuadorian is really strong in the tackle and bullies opposition wingers to reclaim possession.

The 24-year-old is extremely comfortable on both feet, which allows him to play on either side of the defence. His dribbling skills in one-on-one situations are brilliant and his two-footed nature allows him to either cut inside or stretch the game wide by taking on the defender.

Ramirez averages 1.3 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game so far this season. Offensively, the Ecuadorian boasts of 1.4 shots at goal and 1.4 key passes per 90 minutes this season. His passing ability is noteworthy too as he maintains close to 85% accuracy with 1.4 crosses and 2.4 long balls per game.

Conclusion

Watford need reinforcements in the summer to achieve their Europa League ambitions. The addition of Cristian Ramirez would be a solid move and he would be a worthy replacement for Holebas.

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Ramirez would also give a ton of competition for Mesina, which will push both the full-backs to be at their best and benefit the team.

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Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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