Ramires has long been a player beloved of Chelsea fans for his ceaseless running and tackling as well as THAT goal against Barcelona in their Champions League-winning 2011/12 season.
However, the player christened ‘the Blue Kenyan’ (due to his boundless stamina) during his time at Cruzeiro has found another level under Jose Mourinho.
Having added a greater discipline and responsibility to his locker, the Brazilian has started all seven Premier League games and is sure to prove integral to the Stamford Bridge cause if they’re to land odds of 11/4 in winning the title this year.
He’s averaged more tackles than any other Blues player in all four of his seasons in west London.
Since arriving from Benfica in 2010 Ramires has shouldered chief ball-winner responsibilities manfully.
John Obi Mikel in particular may have the former Cruzeiro man to thank for the fact that questions regarding his relevance to the team are murmurs rather than a deafening roar, while the Brazilian’s diligence allows the Stamford Bridge creatives more freedom to focus on undoing the opposition.
No Chelsea player averages a higher amount of passes per game than Ramires this term.
Last term Mikel, Juan Mata, David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Eden Hazard, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic all averaged more passes per game than the Brazilian’s 37.
The fact that he’s been the Blues’ most prolific distributor in 2013/14 with a mean of 59.4 passes per outing illustrates his increased importance to their modus operandi under Mourinho.
The Brazilian has already created half as many Premier League scoring opportunities as he did in 2012/13.
Ramires’ improvement this term hasn’t been confined to greater ball-carrying responsibility either as his creativity has improved markedly on the previous campaign.
Having set up 20 scoring opportunities for teammates during 28 starts and seven substitute appearances in Chelsea’s post-Champions League comedown season he’s already dished up 10 chances in the first seven games of 2013/14.