Gaston Ramirez showed so much promise during the 2012 London Olympics but failed to display anything close to his touted potential when he joined Southampton later that summer.
The Uruguayan teamed up with Nigel Atkins on the south coast when an undisclosed bid, said to be worth £13.68 million by transfermarkt, was accepted by his former club Bologna.
“There is a lot of ambition at this club and we are all delighted Gaston is joining us,” said a thrilled Nigel Adkins at the time (via BBC Sport)
“A lot of hard work has gone in from the club with a lot of negotiations behind the scenes to get this deal done,” added Adkins about the club’s record signing.
“Great credit to everyone because we have a young, exciting talent joining us who is one of the best around.”
Five goals and three assists in 26 league appearances later, the then record signing was not looking so positive. Admittedly, Ramirez did show signs of quality; but we expected that from any player operating in the Premier League – especially one underneath the magnifying glass.
Indeed, it was not too long before Southampton, bruised and bloodied by the disappointment of their record signing flopping fantastically, were ready to cut their losses, cast the Uruguayan aside, and reinvest in a new and exciting player Dani Osvaldo.
Goodbye to Ramirez on the south coast: Yorkshire and Hull City were beckoning.
Would the new environment and fresh hope be enough to inspire the inner, hidden quality of Ramirez?
As it turns out, no it would not.
The forward was a passenger during Hull City’s 2014/15 season helping himself to a scrappy one goal and three assists in 22 appearances.
And if there were any hopes that his period away from the south coast would have spurned on a revival, they were quickly dashed by the five painfully averages performances he put in following his return.
Middlesbrough and the Championship were, in fairness, produced his best form – relative to his previous performances anyhow.
Now, away from the prying eyes of the Premier League’s most critical, and the lofty expectations of the ‘record signing’ label, he looks to be enjoying his best period of football for Genoa side Sampdoria, scoring seven and assisting 15 in 57 league matches.