Portugal and Benfica forward Goncalo Ramos has the world at his feet. The 21-year-old, who replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s round of 16 tie against Switzerland, scored the only hat-trick of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a thumping 6-1 win.
Now, he only made it to the global stage recently, but as it turns out, the story could have been very different if Barcelona had listened to super agent Jorge Mendes in the summer.
As reported by Diario SPORT, Ramos was very close to playing for Barcelona this season as Mendes had put forward an offer in the summer while knowing that the team might have to sign a centre-forward as a cover for Robert Lewandowski.
All this because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had left for Chelsea and Memphis Depay’s future was still hanging in the balance. This would have left Lewandowski as the only number 9 the team would have at its disposal.
So, had Memphis left in the summer, SPORT says Barcelona would have gone for Ramos in August.
Depay may have struggled with injuries and lack of playing time this season, but Ramos’ story is entirely different. The 21-year-old has played 21 games for Benfica this season and has returned with an impressive tally of 14 goals and six assists across all competitions.
What’s more befitting is the fact that nine of his 14 goals have come in Portugal Primeira Liga alone.
Meanwhile, it must be mentioned that even before Mendes’ recommendation, Barcelona had been monitoring Ramos’ progress. The management is of the idea that the 21-year-old fits perfectly in their scheme of things, most notably as Lewandowski’s cover, mostly because of his finishing capabilities and ability to exploit pockets of space
At present, if Barcelona want to pursue the striker, they must understand that his price has now rocketed after his World Cup heroics and in turn, several Premier League teams are now keeping a tab on him as well.