Oh, Sandro. We hardly even knew thee.
The man expected to have replaced at least a few of the Everton goals that left with Romelu Lukaku has been struggling to even get on the pitch. Highly touted Spanish signing Sandro Ramirez came in with a lot of expectations weighing heavily on his shoulders following a breakout La Liga season, but has so far failed to make any sort of impression at the Blues.
In the eleven games he’s featured in, he’s recorded just the one assist. While Sandro hasn’t necessarily been bad, it has been more of a situation where he’s not been played at a position where he can succeed. The 22-year-old is also unfortunate enough to have walked into an Everton side in full turmoil.
While Ronald Koeman has now been relieved of his duties, the Blues continue to blunder from game to game tactically. Sandro has been spotted in training smiling and participating fully, but somehow he’s not been part of a matchday squad since Everton’s loss at home against Lyon in the Europa League.
The Spaniard had picked up a heel injury at the beginning of the season, and ended up missing a few games but there has been no mention of any injuries since then. It’s very likely that neither Koeman nor Unsworth has been willing to give Sandro any chances to find his feet with the dire situation that the Club is in.
It’s difficult to believe that Everton, struggling for goals and with no strikers of note beyond Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, haven’t been able to use Sandro’s talents. He had 16 goals and 5 assists in 31 appearances last season against Malaga, but is only averaging 1.3 shots and 0.6 dribbles per game.
Spanish daily Marca is now reporting that the player could be headed back in the January transfer window after being put “in the fridge” for the last four games since Unsworth took over. SportWitness, quoting the newspaper, claim that there could be a host of clubs lining up for him, with his salary demands limiting his options.
Much like Wayne Rooney, Ramirez does not excel as a lone striker, due to his tendencies to drift wide or come deep to pick up the ball. Indeed, when looking at his time at Malaga, the areas where Sandro received the ball can be instructive.
It’s possible that Ramirez could have excelled as a winger who crashes the box, much like Ronald Koeman used Sadio Mane at Southampton. Alternatively, Sandro could have gotten a run out paired up top with Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Oumar Niasse. Instead, he was typically deployed alone.
Ramirez has not been given a full 90 minutes all season, and has not played a single minute of football since October 19. No wonder he wants to leave.