Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Manchester City Battling Real Madrid For Napoli’s Midfield Powerhouse: Should Guardiola Go For It?

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by Italian publication La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Premier League giants Manchester City are said to have been told that they have will have to shell out around €80m if they hope to acquire the services of Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz this summer.

The report claims that Manchester City have so far gone up to €60m and that Aurelio De Laurentiis believes that there’s more money than that to be made in the player’s sale. It has been suggested that the club are also in consistent contract talks with the midfielder about a possible extension.

The report claims that Pep Guardiola’s side will be competing with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona for the Spaniard’s signature, meaning that Napoli would be even more unwilling to sell him for cheap. While it is suggested that the La Liga clubs are offering players in exchange – Luka Jovic from Real Madrid and Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona, the Serie A side are said to be keener on the cash rather than the player exchanges. Although there are multiple parties still hovering, it’s safe to say that Guardiola will be looking at Fabián Ruiz with keen eyes.

What Would Fabian Ruiz Add To This Manchester City Side?

The Spanish international midfielder has been a key feature of this Napoli side for a while now, and it’s perhaps not overly surprising that some of the biggest clubs in Europe are after his signature. Originally a graduate of the Real Betis academy, the 24-year-old has gone on to become one of the highest-rated box-to-box midfielders in the continent. The former La Liga starlet made 14 appearances for Spain at the U21 level, before eventually earning six international caps since his debut in June last year.

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) challenges Napoli’s Spanish defender Fabian Ruiz during the Italian Serie A football match Napoli vs Juventus on January 26, 2020 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Capable of playing across the midfield line, either as a slightly more advanced option or in the slot in front of the defenders, the Spaniard offers excellent flexibility as well as versatility in terms of positioning. While there’s isn’t much that the 24-year-old doesn’t do well, it’s worth stating that his best attribute is undoubtedly dribbling. Adept at picking the ball up from the defenders and charging forward, the former Betis man offers excellent composure and general presence in the heart of midfield.

Although the Spaniard tends to play in a more defensive position than your typical central-midfielder, it must be conceded that the Napoli man does pop up with a goal now and then. The 24-year-old had featured in 22 Serie A appearances for Napoli before the campaign was halted – a period during which he picked up two goals and two assists. While that does sound underwhelming on paper, it’s worth realising that most of the Spanish international’s good work goes heavily under the radar.

Should Manchester City Go For Ruiz In The Summer?

One of the Citizens’ main sources of creativity in the middle of the park through all these years has been Spanish veteran David Silva. With the Spaniard set to depart, signing Ruiz to replace him would be the perfect situation for Guardiola. Acquiring the Napoli man would be like turning back the clock ten years to when David Silva was still making a name for himself, and that’s why this could turn out to be the transfer of the season if they’re able to pull it off.

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