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Aberdeen teen star Calvin Ramsay confident he could make an impact in English top flight

Aberdeen's Calvin Ramsay wins the SFWA SPFL Young Player of the Year award. Photo by Steve Welsh
Aberdeen's Calvin Ramsay wins the SFWA SPFL Young Player of the Year award. Photo by Steve Welsh

Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay believes he can emulate Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney by becoming an English Premier League star.

The 18-year-old’s breakthrough season hit another milestone when named the SFWA’s DoubleTree by Hilton SPFL Young Player of the Year.

Ramsay joins an illustrious list of winners including Arsenal left-back Tierney who won the honour three times from 2016-18.

Tierney and Liverpool’s Robertson are full-backs blazing a path in the richest league in world football.

One of the hottest prospects in Scottish football Ramsay is confident he can follow in their footsteps.

Quadruple-chasing Liverpool are understood to be lining up a summer swoop for Ramsay.

Teenage right-back Calvin Ramsay celebrates with Declan Gallagher (l) after scoring to make it 1-0 against Dundee at Dens Park.

The teen, contracted until summer 2023, says he has modelled his game on Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Now he could be set for a dream summer switch to Anfield as back-up to the English international defender.

Ramsay said: “Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney are brilliant and players I look up to.

“Especially as a full-back, I play in the same position as them and have seen what they’ve done.

“I feel I could go on to do that as well.

“I know I’ve got to work hard, keep playing and keep putting in good performances.

“And if I keep playing well, then I’m sure it’ll happen.”

Scotland’s Kieran Tierney celebrates scoring the opener against Poland in March.

Ramsay studying Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool have been keeping close tabs on Ramsay and are set to firm up that interest with a summer bid.

The Anfield side are targeting Ramsay to develop as cover for first-choice right-back Alexander-Arnold.

Right-back Neco Williams is currently on loan from Liverpool at Championship leaders Fulham.

Liverpool are reportedly willing to let Williams, 21, leave on a permanent deal.

Calvin Ramsay has been studying Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold in action

Ramsay said: “I like to watch videos of the top players like Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker (Manchester City) and try to base my game on them.

“Obviously they’re at a high level and if I try and base my game on them, then I know that I’ve got a chance of going as far as I can.

“As a full-back, watching Alexander-Arnold and his crosses and his technical ability, if I can get to that level then it would be a bonus.

“If I can be half the player he is, I will be laughing.

“But at Aberdeen, I’m just trying to do as well as I can and see where that takes me.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin and Calvin Ramsay.

Teen joins illustrious list of winners

Ramsay joins an illustrious list of SFWA’s DoubleTree by Hilton Scottish SPFL Young Player of the Year winners.

Aberdeen team-mate Lewis Ferguson secured the honour in 2020.

Other former winners include James McFadden, Craig Gordon, Scott Brown, James Forrest and Stuart Armstrong.

Ramsay topped a five man short-list for the honour comprising Josh Doig (Hibs), Ross Graham (Dundee United), Nathan Patterson (Rangers/Everton) and Stephen Welsh (Celtic).

Calvin Ramsay has been voted SFWA Young Player of the Year for 2021-22 and joins big name former winners.

He said: “I’m buzzing.  There are some big players, great players, who have won the award.

“It’s just a massive achievement for me really.

“It’s not been a good season for the team, we know we needed to do better.

“But on a personal note coming in for my first full season in professional football, I think I’ve done well.”

Calvin Ramsay during a Scotland under-21 training session at The Oriam, on March 23, 2022.

Focus remains on Aberdeen’s season

This summer Ramsay could go from watching footage of Alexander-Arnold to seeing the right-back in the flesh at Anfield and Liverpool’s £50m AXA Training Centre.

For now, the teen is entirely focused on helping Aberdeen finish the Premiership campaign positively.

Ramsay, however, has been a substitute in the last two games –  defeats at home to Ross County and Livingston.

He said: “There has been quite a few clubs linked with me, in January as well.

“But, for me, I’m still an Aberdeen player.

“I’ve still got to focus on the four games left this season and keep putting in good performances if I can get myself back in the team.

“In the summer, we’ll see where it takes me.”

Leeds United target Ramsay move

Premier League Leeds United are also reportedly considering a summer swoop for Ramsay.

During the January transfer window Tottenham, Leicester City and Southampton all sent scouts to watch the teen in the 1-1 draw with Rangers.

Manchester United and Leicester City are understood to have given serious consideration to late January bids.

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay puts in a cross against Edinburgh City.

Other English top-flight clubs tracking Ramsay during the January window were Newcastle United, West Ham and Watford.

In January, Aberdeen rejected a £3.3m bid from Italian side Bologna for the talented teen.

The Italian club returned with a further move and proposed to take Ramsay on loan for £800,000 until the end of the season.

They wanted an option to make the deal permanent this summer for £4.8m. That was rejected by the Dons.

As another transfer window looms speculation over the teen is again hotting up.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack is anticipating transfer bids for Ramsay and Lewis Ferguson this summer.

Asked if he expected a big move to come sooner rather than later, Ramsay said: “I’m not sure to be honest.

Calvin Ramsay scores to make it 1-0 Aberdeen against Dundee.

“I’m still an Aberdeen player, still young and still learning the game.

“I still have a lot to learn defensively and can always improve.

“It’s just staying at Aberdeen until the end of the season and seeing what happens there.

“That’s all I can do really.”

How to deal with transfer speculation

Ramsay was at the centre of a January transfer window storm with clubs across Europe tracking the teen.

The interest came just eight months after his first start for the Dons, in the 1-0 Scottish Cup defeat of Dumbarton on April 3, 2021.

Calvin Ramsay in his first Aberdeen start, against Dumbarton in March 2021.

He said: “It’s good being linked with those clubs but I’ve just tried to block it out really.

“You can’t get caught up in all of that.

“That’s the worst thing, especially as a young player.

“I’ve just broken into the first team this season, so I’m trying to block it out and keep playing my game.

“The rest will take care of itself.”

Open to potentially playing overseas

Italian Serie A club Sassuolo sent a delegation of scouts to watch Ramsay last month.

German Bundesliga outfits Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim were also keen on the Pittodrie youth academy graduate in January.

Ramsay has posted the most assists of any teenage defender in world football this season.

His star continues to rise across the continent.

Calvin Ramsay.

Asked if he would be open to playing overseas in the future he said: “I think so.

“Obviously there have been pretty big clubs.

“Every young player wants to go to the top and do the best they can do.

“If I keep playing well for Aberdeen until the end of the season we will see what happens.

“If the interest is still there. Then it will take care of itself.”

Rise of Aaron Hickey an inspiration

Ramsay points to the success of teen left-back Aaron Hickey for proof of how an overseas move can pay off.

At 17-year-old Hickey transferred from Hearts to Bologna in September 2020, the club that had an offer for Ramsay rejected by the Dons.

Hickey has become a first team regular for Bologna in Serie A, racking up 33 appearances this season.

Now 19, Hickey made his senior international breakthrough with Scotland this year.

Hickey is being tracked by AC Milan and Newcastle United in a potential £20m summer bid.

That would land Hearts a seven figure sum from a sell-on clause.

Calvin Ramsay in action for Aberdeen against Qarabag in the Europa Conference League play-offs.

Ramsay said: “If you come into the first team and play well, like I have, anything can happen.

“The likes of Hickey when he came in at Hearts.

“He did well and got a big move to Serie A and he’s been brilliant, scoring goals and everything.”

Dad Graham’s role in his success

Whilst studying England international full-backs Alexander-Arnold and Walker in action, inspiration has also come closer to home.

Ramsay’s postal worker father Graham, 41, has been instrumental in his rise to become the best young footballer in Scotland.

He said: “My dad has helped me a lot to get to where I am.

“My dad played at a lower level as a striker. But he was good to be fair.

“He knew with me that I had a chance ever since I was young.

“He used to train with me all the time when I was younger, every day after school.

“It’s helped me massively.”