Aitor Karanka talks up Gaston Ramirez importance

Gaston Ramirez in action for Middlesbrough on October 29, 2016
© SilverHub
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka insists that Gaston Ramirez is still in his plans despite the forward attempting to push through a move away from the club in January.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has insisted that Gaston Ramirez still has a major role to play for the team this season after failing to engineer a move away during the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old was wanted by champions Leicester City last month and attempted to push through a deal by handing in a transfer request at the Riverside Stadium.

However, Boro refused to let the Uruguay international leave the club and, having talked over the situation, Karanka is adamant that he still has full confidence in the forward.

"Yes, we had a meeting, but the best way to show a player how important he is for the team is not on a sofa in a meeting. It is that he is playing and I am giving him all my confidence, as I have tried to do since he arrived here," he told reporters.

"It's not difficult for him because I have always said in press conferences here and in my meetings with him how important he is for the team, and he knows. It's not a reason or an excuse that you can tell him. He knows because I have shown him how important he is for this club, for this team, as he was when he came here.

"The team, the club have helped him to reach that level and now with him, we know we have three or four really important months in front of us and he knows he is really important in this team. He gives us a lot of things with the ball, set pieces, a quality and pace, so with him on the pitch, we are a better team."

Boro, who face Oxford United in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday, are yet to win a Premier League game in 2017.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka looks on prior to his side's Premier League clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2016
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