What Fabian Ruiz could bring to Man Utd

Stuart Hodge Updated: 14 Jan 2022 11:45 CET 5 min read
Fabian Ruiz, Napoli

Manchester United are in the market for a creative midfielder with Paul Pogba poised to leave in the summer and are looking to recruit during this transfer window to bolster their chances of a top four finish.

Fabian Ruiz, Napoli’s Spanish playmaker, is one of the players United are looking at and according to reports from La Republica in Italy, they are leading the race to sign the 25-year-old.

But what can he bring to a United midfield area that is already crowded with bodies but perhaps lacking in top quality?

What type of player is he?

Fabian is an attack-minded midfielder who loves breaking the lines and getting in and around the opposition box.

His variety of passing affords him the ability to break open defences and create chances. Stylistically, he has some of the hallmarks of the great Spanish midfielders Xavi and Iniesta.

Like those players, he is happy to drop in and take possession in tight areas to help get a passing rhythm going from deeper areas in the pitch.

Blessed with a superbly crafty left foot, his timing of the pass is very good and he is a frequent ‘secondary assist’ getter – ie. assisting the assist.

He could add some guile and technique for Manchester United and is comfortable in both a two or three-man midfield.

Fabian’s career so far

A Seville-native, Fabian made his professional debut with his hometown Real Betis after progressing through their youth system.

He played more than 60 games for Betis before making the move to Italy to join Napoli in 2018 for €30m when Carlo Ancelotti was boss.

For the Italian club, he’s played 148 games, scoring 20 times and assisting 14 goals for team-mates.

He also has 15 caps and one goal for Spain and would bring a good range of experience with him to Old Trafford, should the move go ahead.

Could be available at a good price

Fabian’s contract only runs to June 2023 and club chief Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to chop Napoli’s wage bill so they won’t be able to afford to keep him on any mega bucks new deal.

That means they will be keen to cash in sooner rather than later, especially if the player expresses a desire to leave.