Wonderkid Calvin Ramsay arrives at Liverpool from Aberdeen
Liverpool have added another exciting young talent to their ranks with the signing of Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen. The defender’s arrival, along with that of recent newcomers Fabio Carvalho from Fulham and Darwin Nunez from Benfica shows that Liverpool have a clear plan.
The small flurry of action in the summer transfer window sees the Premier League side looking to the future. It’s been positive early transfer market intent from the Reds. There has been plenty of fresh young attacking talent brought into the club.
Ramsay arrives on Merseyside
Scottish under 21 international Calvin Ramsay was unveiled at Anfield in mid-June. He arrived after an initial fee of around £4m from Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen. That is a sizable chunk of money for a player that has had just one full season of professional football.
Ramsay has been signed to a long-term contract at Anfield. The sale for Aberdeen represented a club record.
Calvin Ramsay is a right-back. He naturally now is going to be seen as the current under-study and future replacement for Trent Alexander-Arnold. But will 21-year-old Ramsay be able to muscle his way into next season’s starting line-up ahead of TAA?
What do Liverpool get in Calvin Ramsay?
Liverpool have purchased an attacking wing-back in Ramsay. It is an area that is massively important to the way that Liverpool play under Jurgen Klopp. The Reds, with Trent-Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson, have players who can fly down the flanks.
They are just not defenders in Klopp’s set-up, but powerful attacking players. The wing backs give the Reds so much width and provide a big supply line of crosses into the box. So it is only natural that the Reds would go and look for more of the same.
Calvin Ramsay, who has snapped up the squad number 22 at Liverpool, impressed during the 2021/22 season with Aberdeen at both ends of the pitch. Ramsay is an attacking right-back who doesn’t appear to be afraid to have a pop at goal when he can.
Is Ramsay a TAA upgrade?
Ramsay himself has stated that the strength of his game is in attack more than defence. That is pretty much the same mould as Trent Alexander Arnold, whose defensive frailties have been highlighted. It’s been suggested that a lack of defensive awareness is the only thing that has largely kept Alexander-Arnold out of the England team.
So it would appear on the surface that Liverpool have bought a direct replacement. It also hints that they are not going to change their tactical approach much moving forward. Liverpool have not snapped up a sturdy, defensively solid right-back.
Instead, they have snagged themselves a player with plenty of attacking versatility that can be tapped into. The new Red, Ramsay has also been employed in midfield in his career and that was his role when coming through the academy at Aberdeen.
A path for youngsters through Anfield
Thanks to Jürgen Klopp, youngsters at Liverpool have been given their chance to make it at the top level. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Harvey Elliott have been trusted by Klopp. Plenty more are waiting in the wings.
So there appears to be an exciting opportunity ahead for Ramsay following his move south of the border. But it’s unlikely that he is going to be walking straight into the Liverpool team when they kick off the new season of the Premier League. Appearances down the line, however, may not be too far away.
From Aberdeen to Liverpool
It’s been a sharp rise for Ramsay who only made a debut for hometown club Aberdeen in the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season. It was only four appearances that he made for the Dons in that campaign.
He was then given a bigger chance for Aberdeen in the following 2021/22 campaign as Ramsay put in 24 league appearances in the top flight, scoring once. In that first full season with Aberdeen, the honour of being named the SFWA Young Player Of The Year was bestowed upon Ramsay.
Ramsay departs Aberdeen having made 39 appearances for the club in all competitions. He heads south to Anfield as an inexperienced player, but one that has drawn huge plaudits because of that breakthrough season with the Dons.
Biggest pre-season ever for Calvin Ramsay
When the dust settles on the move, which is reported to keep him at Anfield until 2027, Ramsay will face a massive pre-season. The large price tag for the 18-year-old does put some pressure on him to perform now at a higher level.
Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp will get a long look at the player during the pre-season. Ramsay is playing for a spot in the starting eleven of a team that has reached three of the last five UEFA Champions League Finals. That’s a tough nut to crack.
The Reds we also crowned the Premier League champions in 2020, which was their first in the Premier League era. They are expected to be back in a two-horse race with Manchester City for the top honours again this season. Liverpool are second-favourites behind Man City to win the 2022/23 Premier League title.
Breaking into a team that features internationals like Allison Becker, Virgil Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara is not going to be easy. The more time that Ramsay gets during the pre-season, the bigger his role could be in the forthcoming season. Even if it is bit-part roles as substitutes and cup appearances.
Change could create an opening
One positive for Ramsay arriving at Anfield at the moment is that the club are starting to transition. Sadio Mane has departed for Bayern Munich, and the likes of Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah are out of contract next summer.
So change is happening at Anfield and the two arrivals so far, Fabio Carvalho and Darwin Nunes are youngsters for the future. Liverpool clearly have a policy geared toward the long-term vision of the club.
The Reds are happy to select up-and-coming players and evolve them. That in turn, regenerates the side for the future on a budget. Ramsay could be a big part of that soon, with the club looking to not only maintain their high status but build on to better things from it.
Loan time is not out of the question for Calvin Ramsay
There is no guarantee of course that Ramsay will just waltz into Anfield and make the first-team squad. Again, this is a player with only one full season under his belt. A long gruelling season at one of the top levels in the league is a different kettle of fish for the youngster.
A loan option for Ramsay to cut his teeth with further playing time isn’t therefore an unrealistic option for the new arrival. Liverpool did have some key young defenders out on loan for the 2021/22 season.
Ben Davis, Nat Phillips, Sepp van den Berg and Neco Williams were all out at Championship clubs. So would it be a surprise to see Ramsay knocking around in the second tier of English football next term? Probably not.
Only a serious dip in the form of Trent Alexander Arnold or injury to the right-back could give Ramsay an opportunity. Even then, club vice-captain James Milner just signed a one-year extension and would give established cover in the right back spot.
Is anyone else on the horizon?
With Liverpool already active in the transfer market window, are they likely to be done and dusted early? What other transfer targets may be out there for them? For a club of their stature, it’s not unusual to see them linked with plenty of other names in sports news.
Given that their clear preference is for young talent which they can nurture instead of breaking the bank in big bidding wars, there may not be too much further activity at Anfield this summer. There were rumours that they would bring former player Georginio Wijnaldum back after his disastrous season at PSG. There’s little to indicate that it may be little more than rumour mill stuff.
Further rumours have had them linked with Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella. The Italian is supposedly a big target for Klopp to boost Liverpool’s central area. The Reds have also been linked with England international Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund. But the Reds do seem to have set their stance that their summer dealings are done.
Reports from the club suggest that they are going to work towards securing better deals for some of their exciting squad. Their focus is locking down the likes of Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott instead. The club clearly feel that they have the resources to again contend on multiple fronts for silverware this season.
Liverpool’s early season
Liverpool start the new campaign on the road. The Reds have an away game at the newly-promoted Fulham. That’s the fourth season in a row that the Reds have started a new EPL campaign against a team that has just come up from the Championship.
In their opening six fixtures, Liverpool have three home fixtures. Those are against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Newcastle. Along with their away trip to Craven Cottage on the opening day of the campaign, Klopp’s crew go to rivals Everton and Manchester United in their opening half-dozen fixtures.