Friday, March 31, 2023

Arsenal Keeping A Keen Eye On This Napoli Midfielder: What Will He Bring To North London?

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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.

In a recent report, Corriere dello Sport (subscription required) revealed that Arsenal are keeping a keen eye on Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz this summer. It is believed that the Gunners could face competition from Newcastle United, Manchester United and Manchester City in the race to sign the Spanish midfield ace in this off-season.

Ruiz’s Impressive Form In Italian Football Last Season

Ruiz enjoyed a solid campaign at Naples as he managed to put in a series of dominant displays at the centre of Luciano Spalletti’s midfield. The Spain international participated in 38 matches for Napoli last season, registering seven goals and five assists in multiple competitions.

The 26-year-old proved himself to be a consistent performer at the centre of the park by averaging 1.7 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 1.0 clearances, 1.3 shots and 1.0 key passes per game in Serie A. He was even tidy when distributing possession from midfield after completing 90.5% of his attempted passes in the Italian top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Arsenal (Fabian Ruiz)
Fabian Ruiz of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and US Sassuolo at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on April 30, 2022 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
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What Will Ruiz Bring To Arsenal This Summer?

Ruiz is a decent tackler of the ball and can time his challenges well to secure the ball back for his side in midfield. He doesn’t mind stepping up to clear the danger when required and can even orchestrate some exciting opportunities for his teammates to score.

The Spaniard is proficient at striking the ball with power and accuracy from long range but hardly gives away possession at the centre of the park. He has mainly operated as a holding midfielder but can also play as an attacking midfielder if needed.

A midfielder of Ruiz’s quality will be a massive coup for the Gunners if they can find a way to win the race for his services in this off-season. The Spanish midfield enforcer has just got a year remaining in his Napoli contract, so Arsenal could potentially sign him for a cut-price this summer.

We can expect Ruiz to bring a lot of energy and dynamism to Mikel Arteta‘s midfield department at the Emirates Stadium. At 26, the Serie A star is about to enter the peak years of his playing career which makes him a worthy target for the North London giants to consider before the start of the new campaign.

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