Nicknamed the Blue Kenyan the 23-year-old is a tireless box-to-box runner and Carlo Ancelotti may see him as a potential replacement for Michael Ballack, who departed west London earlier in the summer after it was decided that his contract was not going to be renewed by the club.
Although Ramires is a different type of midfielder to Ballack it was clear that the German sacrificed his attacking game more often than not for Chelsea as Frank Lampard remains the most potent goal threat from the middle of the park for the Blues.
Ramires is a workhorse, but not primarily a defensive midfielder, much like Michael Essien and Jon Obi Mikel. However, it is most likely be asked to do some of the dirty work in order to leave the likes of Lampard to do what he does best (scoring and creating goals).
The player had a great first season for Benfica winning a Portuguese Liga and cup double. He has also already forced his way into the Brazil team and was a regular during their Confederations Cup campaign in 2009. During the World Cup in South Africa he lost his place to Felipe Melo initially, regained his place, then he got himself suspended for the game against Holland… he was probably missed as Melo returned to flick the ball in his own net from a Wesley Sneijder shot then sealed Brazil’s fate after getting himself sent off for stamping on Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben.
The Chelsea fans will perhaps be glad that some youthful exuberance is set to be injected into their ageing midfield and should get plenty of longevity out of Ramires who is still just 23, which means he has plenty of time on his side to settle in English football and improve as a player.
Ancelotti also has a fairly good record at nurturing young Brazilian talent with former world player of the year Kaka and Alexandre Pato amongst his prospects, but repeating these sorts of tricks in the Premier League will be a whole new challenge for the manager approaching his second season in west London.
Roman Abramovich has been fairly quiet with his billions ever since the Stamford Bridge outfit’s disastrous purchase of Andriy Shevchenko for around £30m in 2006, but as well as Ramires’ expected arrival it is also believed that the club seem keen on another 23-year-old Brazilian in David Luiz, who was of course a team mate of Ramires during their title winning season last term, and the club has made an offer for Santos’ promising young talent Neymar.
Ramires may endear himself to many fans after he reportedly chose Chelsea over the Premier League’s other billionaires Manchester City, especially after losing out on Robinho to them a few summers ago (a case of right player, wrong club in my opinion).
It is not a done deal yet, but the Brazilian is expected to become an official Chelsea signing upon his return from holiday in his native Brazil (probably by the end of this week) for a fee believed to be around £20 million.
Do the fans believe Ramires will prove to be a good signing for Chelsea?
Ramires in action…