Calvin Ramsay has described his debut for Liverpool as a moment he “won’t forget”.
The born-and-bred Aberdonian came off the bench in the 87th minute at Anfield on Tuesday night, as Liverpool defeated Napoli 2-0 to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Ramsay arrived on Merseyside in the summer and his family were in the stands to witness the landmark moment in his career.
The 19-year-old told Liverpool’s official website: “It’s just a dream come true, something I’ve dreamed of as a little kid. To actually be playing in the Champions League, it’s just amazing.
“I was a bit nervous, to be honest. Since I came to the club I’ve been injured, but I’m just delighted to be back now.
“I’ve played a few games with the U21s and built up my fitness, so to be back in the first-team squad and come on, my family there, [is] a moment I won’t forget.”
Ramsey joined Liverpool on a “long-term contract” from his boyhood club Aberdeen in a deal believed to be worth an initial £4m. He could eventually cost Liverpool up to £6.5m due to appearance-related add-ons.
“I just need to keep working hard in training, try to prove what I can do,” he said. “And if I keep working hard, I’m sure I’ll get more opportunities – Champions League, Premier League, whatever it may be. So hopefully I can get more minutes under my belt.”
STV News takes a look at Ramsay’s journey to one of the world’s most high-profile clubs and analyses how he managed to achieve a stratospheric rise in such a short space of time.
Local lad done good
Ramsay is a born-and-bred Aberdonian who graduated from Aberdeen’s youth academy.
He made a further handful of senior appearances in season 2020-21 after making his debut against Dundee United, before going on to enjoy a stellar campaign last term.
The 18-year-old made 33 appearances in all competitions throughout the 2021-22 campaign, contributing one goal and nine assists.
The Scotland Under 21 international also won the Scottish Football Writer’s Young Player of the Year award, while being nominated in the PFA Young Player of the Year award category.
It’s a dream-come-true for Ramsay, who had already realised a lifelong dream by playing for the club he supported as a boy.
Ramsay sat in the Merkland Road stand with his dad to watch the Dons
“It was always my dream to play for the club, and it was his dream for me, so to go on and do it, I still don’t think it has sunk in for my dad, or for me to a degree,” Ramsay told the Aberdeen website.
What are Ramsay’s stats like?
Impressive. In a word.
Sports analytics firm Opta say only Rangers captain James Tavernier created more chances per 90 minutes than Ramsay among defenders who played more than 900 minutes in the Scottish Premiership last season.
Ramsay created 2.3 chances per 90 minutes, compared to pacesetter Tavernier, who created 3.2 chances per 90 minutes.
What did Aberdeen say about losing Ramsay?
Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin said Liverpool were “very lucky” to be “getting a promising young talent”.
He said: “There is no doubt this is an exciting opportunity for Calvin and his family.
“The AFC Youth Academy deserves a huge amount of credit for developing Calvin and it is testament to the pathway here at the club that Calvin was given his debut in the first team, and not only that, was able to hold his own in the team last season.
“His stats in the first half of last season were amongst the top for full backs in the world. We certainly had high hopes for him and I’ve no doubt he will go from strength to strength in a very good team at Liverpool.”
Ramsay’s departure was a club-record sale for the Scottish Premiership side, surpassing the reported £3m fee received in September 2020 when Scott McKenna moved to Nottingham Forest.
What was the reaction in Liverpool?
Ramsay was Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s third signing of the summer window following the potential club-record arrival of Darwin Nunez from Benfica and the announcement that Fabio Carvalho will officially join the club from Fulham.
“Calvin is another exciting young player, so we’re very pleased,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He has bags of potential. He is only 18 years old at the moment, although turns 19 soon and already has a decent number of first-team appearances for a defender of his age.
“He is athletic, smart, confident, with good technical ability and – always crucial – is eager to learn. So there’s lots to like.
“Experiences of European and U21 international football have been really important for him and his development, too.
“Signing so early in the window is fantastic for him as it means he’ll be with us for pre-season. That helps so much, particularly for a younger signing coming to us.
“He and we will have patience with each other. I think we have proved ours is the ideal environment to nurture and harness the qualities and talent of a young player.
“So we’re all really looking forward to working with him and seeing him improve and develop.”
Has Ramsay played for Scotland?
Ramsay has represented Scotland at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-21 level, winning a total of 14 caps across those age levels.
He will no doubt he hoping his move to Anfield helps him win more caps at Under-21 level and ultimately a call-up to the senior men’s squad.