The Monday Profile: Ramón Núñez
Given the financial woes besetting most clubs in the second decade of this still young century, the short term contract is one aspect of the modern game that is surely here to stay. It may be worth ensnaring Wayne Rooney or Cristiano Ronaldo to a multi-year deal, but the majority of players will find themselves forced to be content with a year at most and sometimes less than that.
Labour market flexibility will also dictate the return of the “have boots, will travel” mentality – and not just via the bedsits and landladies of Manchester suburbs as in the George Best era. If Scunthorpe United’s on loan midfielder Ramón Núñez is anything to go by, serious airmiles will need to be gathered, because this graduate of Southern Methodist University has enjoyed a picaresque career thus far.
This current temporary spell from Leeds, punctuated as it has been by perky performances from the middle of the park, goals against Crystal Palace and Coventry, and an important role in the 4-1 shellacking of Premier League wannabes Queen’s Park Rangers, is just the latest in a run of impermanent arrangements. For Núñez has starred for some mighty clubs in his time.
A six month deal at Mexican Giants Puebla saw him net five times in twenty matches before a switch to CONCACAF Champions League participants Cruz Azul and two hits in that competition. Then, he returned to Tegucigalpa for the World Cup run in; his original Honduran club Olimpia providing him with another half year deal and allowing him the launchpad to thrice grace South African turf.
At Leeds too, his progress has been staccato, but despite making only two appearances in white, Simon Grayson snapped him up for yes…you guessed it…another six months in January; only this time with an option to sign for another year. Only at his original home, FC Dallas (née Burn) has he enjoyed stability. Shipped out eastwards in March, the initial trauma of that 6-0 crushing at Norwich has failed to linger and the Honduran-American has been central to Scunny’s unlikely bid for safety under Alan Knill. Adding a craft and skill not too often witnessed at this level, Núñez is announcing himself well to watching scouts and it seems certain that he’ll play a more starring role next season; be it at Elland Road or elsewhere.