Can Ramires improve Chelsea?

The 23 year old Benfica midfielder, Ramires, has now signed an £18.2 million deal with the London club Chelsea. He signed with the Portuguese giants for £6.2 million from Cruzeiro last summer. Following Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun and the 17 year old Tomas Kalas (who has been sent back to Sigma Olomouc on loan), Ramires is the second player to join Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.

He had made a total of 16 appearances for his national side, Brazil. He joined the Brazil set-up in time to play all games of the successful defense of their Confederations Cup title. He was also part of Brazil’s 2010 World Cup squad but he was booked in their final game of the group stages which ruled him out of the quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands.

Ramires is also one of the four survivors of the Mano Menezes takeover and will probably be a key feature in Brazil’s attempt at regaining the title at home in 2014.

Now the question is can Ramires improve the Londoners or will he be just another Brazilian coming to the English shores to ruin his career? Lets take a look at the current Chelsea set up in short:

Surprisingly for me, Benayoun was given the number ten that Joe Cole had left vacant. Sure, Ramires has his medical today and only then will a deal come through. But a Brazilian midfielder who is previously a number eight, it’s either Frank Lampard’s number or of Benayoun. I think the latter is undeserving specially because I feel that the number 10 of a club is the all-important figure for the whole team.

I know you were thinking something else when I said lets take a look at the current Chelsea set up. Until last year, Michael Ballack, Joe Cole, Lampard and Florent Malouda were controlling the midfield with Michael Essien patrolling behind them.

This time around, Benayoun is probably going to be playing the same role as Joe Cole did and Ramires will be handed the role of the German maestro. Everything seems perfect but Benayoun has somewhat proven himself in the Premier League; whereas Ramires has played in Portugal and England will be a whole new world for him.

We have seen many South American players come to England and never quite living up to their full potential. Simply because the players’ mentality is much different than that of the football played here. English football is colorless and rough, whereas South American football is the full of flair, a sense of completeness and ultimate control.

Sure, Diego Forlan doesn’t really qualify on the definition I’ve given but look at Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano and Alex. They’re all playing in England and they all have another thing in common that makes them successful in England. They’re are all tough warriors. They’re not the embodiment of a true South American samba player.

The likes of Ronaldinho a few years ago or Lionel Messi – I doubt either of the player would be as successful in England. The Spanish and the Italian game is not as aggressive as the English game. The defense gives you some room to put up a show. Whereas in England, if a defender can’t take the ball off you a couple of times he will definitely be going for your legs the next time. I’m sure Arsene Wenger will agree.

The same could be the fate of Ramires at Chelsea. He’s going to be the orator in the Chelsea midfield and probably out-shining Frankie in every other game. That is bound to agitate the opposing defenses and defending midfielders. They are going to try and tie him down but for how long. God is Brazilian after all.

But England is well over 5,000 miles away from Brazil. God is not going to interfere in the inevitable. Ramires will be all over the Premier League but not for long. His prime in England will be very short-lived and he will be forced to keep the bench warm if he decides to stay for the second season. A move back home or to Spain could be in the books for him.

I hope I’m wrong.

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