Why Fabian Ruiz would be a quality addition to Liverpool’s midfield
Back in March, a report from the Express (h/t Metro) had mentioned Liverpool among the potential suitors for Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz heading into the summer window. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich were also understood to be keeping tabs on Ruiz but the Spaniard eventually ended up staying put in Naples.
Ruiz has made 95 appearances in all competitions for Napoli, registering 11 goals and 10 assists in the process. He made his senior international debut for Spain in 2019 and has earned 8 caps so far.
Ruiz would be a good long-term investment for Liverpool
Adam Lallana’s departure in the summer hasn’t really caused any serious squad depth issues in Liverpool’s midfield, considering that the England international was only a bit-part player for the Reds. However, the uncertainty over Geroginio Wijnaldum’s long-term future at Anfield remains a major concern for Jurgen Klopp.
Indeed, the Dutchman has been one of Klopp’s trusted lieutenants in the middle for quite a long time, contributing greatly to the club’s recent Premier League and Champions League triumphs.
But with his contract set to expire next summer and Wijnaldum stalling on penning a new deal, Liverpool face the risk of losing one of their key operators in the midfield.
The Reds did bring in Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in the summer to bolster their reserves in the middle of the park but they might be forced to reshape that department even further if Wijnaldum ends up leaving the club.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a stop-start career at Anfield due to injuries while Naby Keita has blown hot and cold since joining from RB Leipzig in 2018.
With Jordan Henderson (30) also not getting any younger, Liverpool need to line up some younger midfield alternatives in the market. Putting things into context, the reigning PL champions should reignite their interest in Fabian Ruiz to ensure long-term stability in the middle of the park.
Capable of switching between box-to-box, attacking and wide roles in the midfield, Ruiz would offer Klopp a lot of tactical versatility. Besides his obvious proficiency in scoring as well as creating goals, Ruiz is someone who also excels with his tireless work rate.
As evident from his heat map in Serie A last term, Ruiz not only pops up in key attacking positions in the final third but also tracks back to help out his team in the defensive phase of play. Those qualities should make him a perfect fit for Klopp’s philosophy at Anfield.
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Fabian Ruiz has backed up his strong domestic performances for Napoli in the Serie A with some quality displays in the Champions League and Europa League over the past couple of the years.
That clearly underlines his potential to deliver the goods against elite-level opposition. The Spaniard still has his best years ahead of him at 24. Liverpool making a renewed attempt to sign him in January or next summer would put them in good stead to consolidate on their recent success.