Largie Ramazani was putting in stellar performances back in September. Regular goals and assists brought Ramazani into the spotlight and we labelled him as a potential UEFA Europa League breakout star.
That didn’t quite come into fruition, although Ramazani made his Manchester United debut against Astana. With Marcus Rashford now injured, the young Belgian winger is coming back into the headlines.
At 18, Ramazani has had his breakthrough season in the under-23s. He wasn’t the kind of storming presence in the under-18s that Mason Greenwood was. Angel Gomes outshone him, and so did most of his teammates. Ramazani struggled to become a first team regular.
The step up to the under-23s, as it often does, has brought the best out of this tricky two-footed forward.
Rashford out for 2 months, can Ramazani replace him for United?
That’s all good, but the real question for the 2019/20 season is whether Ramazani is at the right stage to become a first team player.
The honest answer is that he’s quite obviously far off the level of Greenwood or a regular starter. But that’s not really in contention.
What matters more is that Ramazani could have a positive impact on United this season and is impressing enough to be in the senior squad.
The MEN reported on Monday that Ramazani is one young player that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has looked at to replace Rashford. With nine goals from the wing in 13 games in Premier League 2,the youngster is hard to overlook.
Any decision to promote Ramazani will ultimately come down to Solskjaer, but he’ll receive advice from a number of individuals.
Under-23s manager Neil Wood will be best placed to give that advice and his opinion will be used alongside that of Nicky Butt, Head of First Team Development.
Ramazani is ready for first team chances. It’s somewhat surprising that he hasn’t travelled with the first team more regularly given the various injury crises this month.
He isn’t going to be able to replace Rashford because he’s a raw 18-year-old. But he can come into the squad and push Mason Greenwood into the starting XI.
How can Largie Ramazani be used?
Importantly, Ramazani can play in a number of positions. With Rashford out and depth an issue, that’ll be key. But more significant is the kind of player that Ramazani is.
His stature is short and he’s got a low centre of gravity. He’s quick and so is his footwork. Ramazani is in the model of a Solskjaer winger, drawing fouls in the same manner as Rashford, Martial and James.
If he’s going to play anywhere, Ramazani will be used on the right-wing, leaving Dan James on the left, or on the left-wing, leaving Mason Greenwood on the right. That flexibility on the wing will make him more likely to be involved.
Is he ahead of Tahith Chong?
For all the criticism that Chong has received, he is ahead of Ramazani. It’s not surprising given the age difference and subsequent difference in experience and gametime.
But Ramazani is in better form and has been consistently effective this season unlike Chong who has dipped in and out of form.
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