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    Celtic eye £35k-a-week maestro who “can slice open a defence”, far better than Ntcham – opinion

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    According to Il Secolo XIX (via Football Italia), Celtic are interested in signing Sampdoria play-maker Gaston Ramirez.

    What’s the word?

    As the Hoops look to win a historic tenth league title in a row, Neil Lennon is no doubt keeping a close eye on the transfer market in order to bring in some reinforcements before the close of the window.

    How’s your Celtic knowledge? Always been a loyal fan? Well can you spot Stilian Petrov from John Hartson? Give it a go if you’re brave enough …

    
 


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    WHO IS THE PLAYER?


    And Italian publication Il Secolo XIX claim that with Sampdoria looking to offload players this summer in order to raise some much-needed funds, Ramirez could be one of the players to be shown the door.

    The report adds that along with Celtic, sides like Bournemouth and Southampton are also very much interested in luring the midfielder away from Italy.

    Much better than Ntcham

    At 29-years-old, Ramirez hardly represents the future of Celtic’s midfield, but he does have the kind of qualities that could address a major issue for the Bhoys: creativty.

    The Athletic’s Kieran Devlin explored that issue earlier this season, suggesting that when the likes of Tom Rogic and Olivier Ntcham don’t play, then the team can struggle to create genuine chances.

    Should Celtic sell Olivier Ntcham this summer?

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    No

    But in Ramirez, Celtic would be getting a chief orchestrator, who has proven year-in and year-out that he can be a force to be reckoned with going forward. Whilst seven goals and two assists in 26 Serie A games last season is nothing to really write home about, his underlying numbers paints an entirely different picture.

    As per Whoscored, he averaged an impressive 1.5 shots, 1.3 key passes and 1.8 dribbles per game in the Italian top-flight – numbers that completely blow Ntcham out of the water in particular. In his limited game-time this season, the Frenchman has managed just 0.3 shots, one key pass and 0.7 dribbles per match.

    Ramirez’s creativity is something that his former teammate at Middlesbrough, Ben Gibson, waxed lyrical about, saying back in 2016: “There’s no doubting his quality. He’s one of those players who on any given day he can slice open a defence.”

    If Celtic can get a deal done for the £35k-a-week ace, then they could solve one of their big concerns.

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