Brazilian midfielder Ramires today moved from Chelsea to Jiangsu Suning for a reported £25 million, making him the biggest ever signing by a Chinese club. The deal between the two clubs is a new sign of the financial power of Chinese football clubs in the international transfer market. Ramires joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2010 and won the Champions League and the Premier League in 251 appearances for the London club during which he scored 34 goals. He was a favourite under Jose Mourinho but has struggled to get a game in recent months.
The fact that Ramires signed a new four year deal just last October makes this recent development even more shocking. He isn’t Guus Hiddink’s favorite player to say the least and hasn’t started a game since December 14th but the fact is that Hiddink is only a short term solution and Chelsea will get a new coach in the summer. Surely the Brazilian could have waited for his chance. At 28 a player is at his prime, they move from one big club to another big club but this sudden news has led many to question his ambition in football.
If we look at the past few seasons we notice a growing trend from the Chelsea boardroom, they haven’t wasted time on selling the players they felt were surplus to requirement and in doing so have made a tidy profit as well. Chelsea had previously sold David Luiz for 50 million pounds and Juan Mata for 37 million pounds, both of them were not part of the clubs future plans. Hence, getting £25 million for a player who was only a back up currently isn’t that bad a deal.
However Ramires will remain the unsung hero of Chelsea’s Champions League Triumph. He famously scored the goal, a chipped shot over Victor Valdes, that got Chelsea back into the game in their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2012. Chelsea went through to the final on away goals but the Brazilian also got a yellow card and was suspended for the win over Bayern Munich in the final. Unfortunately for the midfielder, he could never cement his position in the team, while some saw him as a defensive midfielder, who could shield the back four, others saw him as a creative midfielder who was capable of providing that killer pass in the box.
The blues will be looking to rebuild for the future after a disastrous title defence this season and from the boards perspective Ramires was going to go either this month or in the summer, hence selling him for £25 million right now isn’t the worst deal and can be categorized along with some other high profile departures recently.