Chelsea's Ramires (R) evades a tackle from Manchester City's Gael Clichy (bottom) during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London December 12, 2011. REUTERS

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has lavished praise on Ramires following the Brazilian international's eye-catching display at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old is enjoying a superb season at Chelsea and although typically known as a defensive midfielder, the patently athletic star has displayed a willingness and a canny knack to make well timed offensive runs at the business end of the pitch.

Ramires, who was signed from Benfica in August 2010 for a rumoured €22 million, had two of Chelsea's best chances during Thursday night's engaging affair against Tottenham and although he failed to score in either, his manager suggests the midfielder's forward thinking has been a wonderful asset for the Blues.

"Ramires is the player who has been in the most one-on-one situations for us this season and it means he has fantastic timing to get into these spaces," The Chelsea manager told the London Evening Standard after their draw against Spurs.

"He has been an outstanding player for us this season and he keeps giving excellent performances."

Although Ramires took a few months to adapt to the rigours of English football, the diminutive box-to-box midfielder has enjoyed a stellar calendar year. While the likes of Frank Lampard, Raul Meireles, John Obi Mikel and Oriol Romeu remain in regular rotation, Ramires is nearly always retained in Andre Villas-Boas' starting XI.