Paris St. Germain continued their ambitious summer recruitment drive this week when they completed the signing of Goncalo Ramos from Benfica in a transfer that could eventually be worth around €80m.
The Portuguese international will join the Parisian big-hitters on loan from Benfica initially, though PSG will have an obligation to buy the 22-year-old outright this time next year for around €65m while easily-achievable bonuses of €15m are also said to be part of the arrangement.
PSG’s frontline is undergoing major renovations during the transfer window and with Lionel Messi gone, Neymar tipped to follow him through the exit door and Kylian Mbappe’s future still undecided, the Ligue 1 champions should have a fresh look in the final third in 2023/24.
Where might Ramos fit in at PSG?
Goncalo Ramos will be something of a novelty at PSG in that the 22-year-old is a proper number nine in the traditional sense – a profile of player that the French giants haven’t really had since the days of Edinson Cavani.
The central striker leathered home an impressive 27 goals and 12 assists in 47 appearances for Benfica last season while operating at the spearhead of As Águias’ attacking structure.
In 2022/23, PSG played with an unusual system in attack that featured the now departed Lionel Messi as a false nine/number ten hybrid, with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar (when fit) deployed as split strikers just ahead of the Argentinean.
However, Ramos favours a more orthodox remit as a centre forward and he was supported in that role by wingers like Fredrik Arsunes, Joao Mario and David Neres at Benfica last term, with Rafa offering another supply line from attacking midfield.
To extract the best goal-scoring performances from Goncalo Ramos, new PSG boss Luis Enrique might have to move to a 4-3-3 system and the Spanish taskmaster has certainly made manoeuvres in the direction during the club’s pre-season campaign.
If Ramos does feature as the central focal point in attack, he could be flanked either side by a number of suitable options at PSG including fellow summer signings Lee Kang-In and Marcos Asensio.
Alternatively, Luis Enrique could also turn to players like Warren Zaire-Emery, Hugo Ekitike, Carlos Soler or Vitinha to play out wide in supporting positions near Ramos.
Dembele to add another dimension?
PSG have been busy transfer market operators this summer, though a tenth acquisition during the window could be completed soon if the protracted deal for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele moves forward.
The arrival of the dynamic 26-year-old would help to replace some of the star quality being lost this summer, while Dembele also has the creative qualities to put chances on a plate for the goal-hungry Ramos.
Dembele lodged 20 assists in his last two La Liga campaigns combined despite starting just 31 times in the Spanish top tier during that period and as one of football’s prime performers when it comes to beating markers in one-on-one situations, the wide attacker could be a chance-manufacturing machine at PSG.
PSG are pushing to complete a deal for Dembele, though paperwork issues are holding up the transfer at present. Nevertheless, when those administration wrangles are sorted out, the 37-times capped French international should be able to join Goncalo Ramos in Paris.