Once again, players from the modest country of Uruguay have become hot property this summer, including a future Real Madrid star
Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough to Sampdoria)
After leaving Italy in 2012 for an English adventure with Southampton, Gastón Ramírez is back in Serie A. In England, Ramírez enjoyed one good spell with Middlesbrough during the 2015/16 season in the Championship before ruining his good relationship with the Boro fans by handing in a transfer request last January.
From that point, the 26-year-old playmaker always looked close to leaving and now it has finally happened. Sampdoria have signed up Ramírez and he will team up with fellow Uruguayan Lucas Torreira in northern Italy. The Uruguayan international leaves Boro, having scored nine times in 44 appearances for the club.
2012: Gastón Ramírez leaves Bologna for Southampton.
2017: Gastón Ramírez leaves Middlesbrough for Sampdoria.
Back in Italy. pic.twitter.com/7l9d9KK6E5
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) August 6, 2017
Fede Valverde (Real Madrid to Deportivo La Coruña)
A Silver Ball-winning U20 World Cup campaign with Uruguay this summer has really put Fede Valverde on the radar. The midfield maestro was already known by many but in the World Cup, Valverde presented himself as one of world football’s hottest prospects. Real Madrid already acknowledged Valverde’s potential as they signed him several years ago.
Something Los Blancos have also acknowledged is the need for young players to play regularly at a high level and therefore Real manager Zinedine Zidane has decided to send Valverde out on loan to Deportivo La Coruña for the following La Liga season. This is an opportunity from which Valverde can really benefit and it could even move him in contention for Uruguay’s senior squad.
Maxi Gómez (Defensor Sporting to Celta de Vigo)
For a sum of money close to Defensor Sporting’s record fee, Maxi Gómez left Uruguay to join Spanish side Celta de Vigo this summer. Gómez caught the eye by scoring 12 goals in 13 appearances in his last campaign for Defensor. At Celta he will come across to one compatriot that he should try and emulate; Luis Suárez.
The numbers of Suárez will be hard to fully emulate but the 20-year-old has all the ingredients to be a success in Spain. In terms of style, Gómez is pretty similar to his ten years older example. Both never shy away from a battle and both are very opportunistic. Watching Gómez is like watching a young Luis Suárez. Controversial, but a guarantee of goals.
Matías Vecino (Fiorentina to Inter Milan)
“This is a very special day, as it means a lot to come to a club like Inter,” said Matías Vecino after completing his $28 million move to Inter Milan. It is a fee that has made Vecino the third most expensive Uruguayan footballer of all time. However, he is totally worth it according to new Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalleti, who pushed the board to sign Vecino.
The holding midfielder was wanted by several Italian sides. Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, for example, has admired the Uruguay international since the pair worked with each other at Empoli in the 2014/15 season. Between 2015 and 2017, Vecino featured 78 times for Fiorentina and he has now left Florence for a new chapter in his career.
Christian Stuani (Middlesbrough to Girona)
Christian Stuani has joined newly promoted La Liga outfit Girona from Middlesbrough. Stuani leaves the Championship side after being an integral part of Boro’s promotion-winning season in 2015/16. The 30-year-old netted eleven times that year but couldn’t prevent the club’s relegation in their Premier League return last season.
Now, at Girona, Stuani will once again battle against relegation. His move to Girona means a return to Spain, where he played for six years (2009-2015) with Espanyol. His experience could help Girona this campaign and regular playing time could also keep Stuani in contention for a Uruguay call-up.
Stuani vs Brighton. Goosebumps guaranteed pic.twitter.com/G29eruiBmG
— Lenny (@lenny2411) July 25, 2017