Thursday, October 6, 2022

Real Madrid Set To Rival Barcelona For This Serie A Defender: What Will He Add To Zidane’s Team?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid are set to rival Barcelona in pursuit of Napoli playmaker Fabian Ruiz this summer. The same source has also revealed that the Italian outfit are bracing themselves for summer offers from both La Liga clubs as they battle it out for the Spanish midfielder’s signature in this off-season.

Ruiz’s Incredible Form In Italy This Season

The ex-Real Betis talent has experienced another impressive season at Naples after producing several eye-catching performances at the heart of Gennaro Gattuso’s midfield. He has netted three goals and provided two assists in 32 matches for the Serie A club this term on all fronts.

The 23-year-old deserves credit for averaging 2.4 shots, 1.5 key passes and 1.2 dribbles in every 90 minutes of league football this season. On the defensive end, the Spaniard has made an average of 1.7 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 0.5 clearances per game in the Italian top-flight so far (stats via whoscored). His stats shed light on his growing influence at both ends of the field, which could be why two of the biggest teams in Spain are reportedly set to compete for his services during the summer transfer period.

Ruiz has also earned six senior caps for the Spanish national team while scoring one goal for his country in the process. Maybe a high-profile move back to his homeland could provide him with a more prominent platform to showcase his skills and earn a permanent place in Luis Enrique’s squad in the years to come.

Real Madrid set to rival Barcelona in pursuit of Ruiz who is in action in the photo
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)

What Will The Six-Time Spanish International Add To Zinedine Zidane’s Side?

Ruiz is proficient at building his team’s attacks from midfield and has established himself as an accurate ball-distributor after completing 90.5% of his attempted passes in the Serie A this season (stats via whoscored). He can also strike the ball with power and accuracy from long range but needs to improve his end-product in the final third. The Spanish playmaker has proven his worth as a holding midfielder as well due to his knack for earning possession back for his side. He is often quick to read the danger that enables him to pull off some vital last-gasp clearances at the back.

Ruiz is a complete midfielder who has the potential to become a household name at the Spanish capital. He will not only add a lot of quality in terms of creativity to Zinedine Zidane’s midfield but also enhance the overall depth of his squad. Plus, the Spaniard will offer some healthy competition for the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde and Casemiro in the race to secure a regular midfield berth at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium next season.

The Napoli star could also serve as an ideal long-term replacement for Modric who is edging closer towards the end of his playing career. At 24, Ruiz is about to hit his prime, which is why Los Blancos should consider going all out in the chase to secure his signature before the start of the new campaign.

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