Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Manchester United Leading Race For This Napoli Midfielder: The Right Choice For Rangnick?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Earlier this month reports from The Sun revealed that Manchester United are keen on signing Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz as an alternate to West Ham United star Declan Rice in the summer transfer window as Ralf Rangnick looks set to bolster his options at the centre of the park. However, the latest updates from the Daily Mail state that the Red Devils are currently leading the race for the 25-year-old midfielder’s signature despite interest from several top clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal.

Besides the £100million price tag, which is an obvious obstacle for Manchester United, Rice denied claims of him leaving the Hammers back in September.

“Everyone knows how I feel about West Ham and I feel about playing under the manager and what it’s like playing with the group of players I’m playing with.” – The 27-times England international said.

“I feel like we can achieve good things [at West Ham United]. 

We want the Champions League, that’s what everybody wants. I feel like top six is more of a bigger aim for us. We’ve gone for everything. We’ve rotated the squad as much as we can.

There are so many positives to take and if we really look towards the European games coming up, when we’ll probably play a big side, I feel like we can really go far.

There’s no limits to what we can do. We just need to stick together, keep doing what we do best and see where the season takes us.”

Fabian Ruiz has shown no interest in contract renewal talks thus far, despite eighteen months left on his present contract at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Napoli's Fabian Ruiz
Napoli’s Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz (C) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Naples (Napoli) and Lazio Rome at Diego-Armando-Maradona stadium in Naples, on November 28, 2021. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Fabian Ruiz’s 2021/22 Season In Numbers

Having come through the ranks at Spanish club Real Betis, Fabian Ruiz signed for SSC Napoli in the summer of 2018 for a fee in the region of 30 million euros. Over the course of the last four seasons, he has featured 150 times for the Blues, netting 20 goals and bagging 14 assists across all competitions.

Even this season, the Spaniard has managed to put up some awe-inspiring numbers on the board – averaging 1.7 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 1.1 clearances, 1.3 key passes, 4.6 long balls per 90 minutes in the Italian top-flight. Furthermore, with an average WhoScored rating of 7.30, he has been one of the best players for his side thus far.

Versatility is one of his prime strengths as it allows him to fulfil several roles in the hour of need – be it the defensive midfield, the attacking midfield or the left-hand side.

Right Choice For Rangnick?

It’s no surprise that Manchester United are in dire need of a holding midfielder – someone with an impressive work rate, an exceptional passing range, and capable of exerting aerial dominance – and Ruiz fits the bill perfectly.

His arrival would also provide competition to the duo of Fred and Scott McTominay in the middle of the park while opening the exit path for Paul Pogba.

Hence, Rangnick should go all out for his signature in the summer transfer window.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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