In a new series of mini scout reports WhoScored will be taking a closer look at transfer targets from across Europe's top 5 leagues to try and give fans a greater understanding of what sort of players are being linked with your club. We will also occasionally include profiles of players who have recently sealed moves, and our first focus is on players from Italy's Serie A.
Gaston Ramirez (Bologna)
Closely linked with a move to Liverpool in the last few days, Bologna playmaker Gaston Ramirez looks set for bigger and better things. Already a fully fledged Uruguay international at the age of 21, Ramirez made each of his 28 starts (33 total apps) in Serie A last season behind the lone striker, but can also be played wide on the left, where his trickery on the ball can cause havoc.
A look at his player character shows that dribbling is a strength of the youngster, which becomes apparent when noting that only two players (Biabiany and Cuadrado) attempted more dribbles in Serie A last season than his 163. In terms of success rate from said dribble attempts he comes in at just below 50% (49.7). This may seem modest but in terms of the top 10 prolific dribblers in terms of attempts last season, this average ranks third behind the aforementioned Biabiany and new PSG signing Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Elsewhere, with an impressive 52 key passes to his name he was perhaps unfortunate only to register 4 assists, though he could perhaps work on his accuracy in terms of passes (72.2%) and crosses (16.8%) respectively. Having netted 8 times last season, from 59 shots (13.6% conversion) it is clear that he has an eye for goal, and particularly favours a pop from distance, with his talents certainly enough to seal a move to the Premier League next season.
Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina)
Montenegro international Stevan Jovetic is another player who has seemingly attracted attention from a number of top Premier League clubs after his most fruitful season yet with Fiorentina. Having signed for The Viola as a teenager in 2008, Jovetic established himself as a regular almost instantly and was touted as a wonderkid soon after. Injury stunted his progression, missing the entire 2010/11 season with cruciate ligament damage, though he has returned in confident mood and a more advanced role for the side.
The forward, now 22, has certainly become more of a goal-getter than provider over the past season, netting 14 times in 27 Serie A starts but assisting just 3. His confidence in an attacking sense is clear given the fact that only Antonio Di Natale averaged more shots per game than his 4.5, though a conversion rate of 11.5% certainly needs improvement if he is to become a top level marksman. However, when it comes to finishing Jovetic is partial to a wondergoal, scoring the joint most from outside the box in Serie A last season, netting 4 from 20 long shots on target (20%).
Like Ramirez, he also excels in terms of dribbling and is clearly a player who has a lot of faith in his own ability. He attempted 160 dribbles last season, the 5th most in the league, though his success rate of 43.1% is down on most of those in the top 10 (see table above right). He remains a versatile option up front, starting 7 times from a left-sided role last season, and were he to join either Chelsea or Arsenal, as touted, perhaps a position as a wide forward would be most likely.
Matias Silvestre (Palermo to Inter - Confirmed)
One confirmed piece of business to take place between Serie A clubs has seen Matias Silvestre join Inter. The former Palermo man will be seen as a replacement for fellow South American Lucio, who has himself made an Italian city swap from Milan to join The Old Lady in Turin. The Argentine's talents were enough to convince Stramaccioni to bring the defender to the club after just one season at Palermo, having signed from Sicilian rivals Catania last August.
A physically imposing centre-half, Silvestre has gained a reputation at the opposite end for his goalscoring exploits, netting the joint-most goals of any defender in the division last term, with 5. Unsurprisingly 4 of said strikes came from headers, again enough to see him tied at the top with 5 other players in the league in this regard, though from considerably fewer efforts. If you consider that Miroslav Klose, a player known for his aerial prowess and one of those joining the 27-year old on 4 headed goals, took 25 attempts to reach the same tally, the fact that Silvestre did so from just 8 attempts (50%) proves that he knows how to attack a cross.
Defensively, Silvestre's statistics stand out in terms of clearances, with 269 enough to see him rank in the top 10, but behind the man he will be replacing - Lucio. He does, however, outdo the Brazilian in terms of being dribbled past less often, with 15 way down on Lucio's 34 and testament to a defender with good pace and timing in the challenge. We finish, though, on a stat that should excite most Interisti, with the centre-back having scored 3 more goals over the past two seasons than playmaker Wesley Sneijder (11 to 8).