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ANALYSIS: Attacking stats show why English top-flight clubs are in a race to land Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay

Aberdeen's Calvin Ramsay.
Aberdeen's Calvin Ramsay.

Aberdeen teen sensation Calvin Ramsay’s attacking stats underline why a race is brewing to land the right-back.

In his breakthrough season, the 18-year-old has impressed in the areas which excite fans  – assists, dribbling and dangerous crosses into the box.

Ramsay’s stats also clearly excite English top flight and overseas clubs.

Premier League Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Leicester City, West Ham, Southampton, Norwich City and Watford are all in the hunt for the teen.

One of the hottest talents in Europe, the full-back is also on the transfer radar of German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt.

Italian Serie A club Bologna are also ready to move to secure Ramsay.

Bologna signed teenage left-back Aaron Hickey for £1.5m from Hearts in September 2020.

The Italian top flight outfit are on the verge of selling regular first team starter Hickey, 19, to Aston Villa in a big money move.

Ramsay’s Premiership stats this season are hugely impressive with Scotland U21 international coming out ahead of Rangers’ right-backs Nathan Patterson and James Tavernier in some areas.

German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt are targeting Calvin Ramsay, pictured in action against Dundee.

The price of a young Scots right-back

Scotland international Patterson, 20, who is second choice right-back at Ibrox, is set to complete a £10m move to Everton.

Which does pose the question – if Patterson is worth £10m, how much is Ramsay worth?

Watford are the first club to open dialogue with Aberdeen regarding a potential January move for Ramsay.

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay (22) during the 2-1 defeat of Dundee at Pittodrie on Boxing Day.

The Hornets are likely to face fierce competition from clubs across Europe.

Aberdeen are braced to receive several big money bids for Ramsay during the January window.

A potential bidding war for the teen could start – and a look at his attacking stats shows why.

Ramsay ranking high with assists

Of the right backs in the Scottish top flight in the first half of the season, only Rangers’ captain Tavernier has a better assist per game ratio than the Pittodrie youngster.

The Aberdeen teen supplied an assist every 213.5 minutes in the Premiership.

For comparison, Anthony Ralston of Celtic delivered an assist every 261.8 minutes, with Hearts’ Michael Smith getting one every 1,342 minutes.

Wanted man Calvin Ramsay started in the 2-1 defeat of Dundee.

Scotland international Stephen O’Donnell of Motherwell has yet to provide an assist in 1,189 minutes of top flight action this term.

Ramsay, who recently returned from a two-month injury absence, has posted a better assist per game ratio than Everton-bound Patterson.

Soon to be £10m man Patterson has just one assist in 231 minutes of action.

Whether Patterson is the only young right-back to move from the Premiership to the English top flight this month remains to be seen.

The success of Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney gives Premier League clubs concrete proof that a young, attack minded full-back from Scotland can thrive in the English top flight.

Aberdeen teen Calvin Ramsay’s 2021-22 Premiership stats in comparison to other right-backs. Supplied by Opta stats

Teen star ahead in expected assists

Ramsay, who has four Premiership assists, also pitched in with four assists in the Europa Conference League earlier this season.

The Pittodrie youngster is ahead of his expected Premiership assists for the season so far.

Expected assists measures the likelihood that a given pass will become a goal assist.

It considers several factors including the type of pass, pass end-point and length of pass.

Ramsay’s expected assist rating is 2.5, but he is already on four actual assists.

Only Tavernier and Patterson are also ahead of their expected assist figure.

Tavernier’s expected return is 5.9, but he is on 10 assists, while Patterson’s was rated at 0.6, but managed one assist.

Dribbling skills gaining attention

Calvin Ramsay touch map in 2-1 defeat of Dundee on December 26. Supplied by Opta stats

Pittodrie teen Ramsay has posted the second best stats of any right-back in the top flight for successful dribbles per game.

His return is second to only Patterson, who has been capped six times by Scotland.

Ramsay has made 13 successful dribbles this season, with a ratio of one per 65.4 minutes.

Patterson has a successful dribble ratio of one every 38.5 minutes

Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay is on the radar of Premier League Leicester City.

Ralston (Celtic) is on 72.5 minutes, with Tavernier on one successful dribble every 124.6 Premiership minutes.

Aberdeen Youth Academy graduate Ramsay has also whipped in 55 open play crosses in his 14 Premiership games this season. A ratio of 3.93 crosses per game.

When taking into consideration that he also takes free-kicks and corners, his delivery is pivotal to Aberdeen.

Graphic of Calvin Ramsay’s successful open play crosses. Supplied by Opta stats.

No goals for teen star Ramsay… yet

The only attacking aspect so far missing from Ramsay’s season is goals.

He has yet to score a senior first team goal for Aberdeen.

However, the rampaging full-back has already proven during his Pittodrie career that he is more than capable of netting.

For proof, watch his superb strike for the U16s in a Scottish Youth Cup semi-final defeat of Kilmarnock in November 2018.

Interception numbers also strong

Defensively Ramsay also has an impressive interception rate.

The Pittodrie full-back made 13 interceptions in 851 minutes of action – one every 65 minutes.

Only O’Donnell and Tavernier have made more interceptions, but both have significantly more game time due to Ramsay’s injury.

Tavernier has 15 blocks in 1,620 minutes of action, or one every 108 minutes.

O’Donnell, who starred for Scotland in the Euro 2020 finals, has registered an interception every 79 minutes.

Stats for Calvin Ramsay of Aberdeen in 2-1 defeat of Dundee. Supplied by Opta stats

English clubs in race to land Ramsay

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack recently claimed stats, which are monitored by all of the continent’s top clubs, show Ramsay is in the ‘elite upper bracket for a young right-back in Europe‘.

Those stats have catapulted the teen on to the radar of English big hitters.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers sent a top scout to watch Ramsay in the 2-1 defeat of Dundee on Boxing Day.

Manchester United have had him watched and compiled a transfer dossier.

Now interest in Ramsay has spread to the German top flight.

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass congratulates Calvin Ramsay after the defeat of Dundee.

Dons in control of Ramsay situation

With Ramsay contracted until summer 2024, Aberdeen are in control of the situation.

Chairman Cormack recently emphasised the club do not have to sell any of their top stars, including Ramsay, in January.

Manager Stephen Glass views Ramsay as an integral part of his first team plans.

The teen has made only 17 starts with a further seven appearances off the bench.

Ramsay is still raw and very early in his development.

What the stats show is that, even at such an early age, Ramsay is one of the top right-backs in the country.

He will only get better and, if his current progression continues apace, the sky’s the limit for the teen.

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay warms up before the defeat of Dundee.

Aberdeen club record transfer fee

The conundrum is not if, but when, Ramsay will exit Pittodrie for a big money move.

It could be this month, this summer or further down the line once he has racked up 100 or more starts.

One thing is certain  – when he is sold it must be for a club record fee.

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay (left) holds off Dundee’s Paul McMullan in October.

Aberdeen received a club record sum of £3m in September 2020 for the sale of Scotland international defender Scott McKenna to Nottingham Forest.

When Ramsay does exit Pittodrie, any fee must surely eclipse that club record.

And with a sell-on clause and achievable add-ons, any fee could ramp up higher.

However, I’m sure the Red Army would rather see the exciting talent rampaging up the wing and terrorising defenders for a season or two more before his inevitable big money move.