Welcome to Napoli! – Fabián Ruiz – Player Profile

As Napoli’s Transfer market continues, we see some familiar midfield faces on their way out. Marek Hamsik has handed in a transfer request to China, and Jorginho seems to have his future nearly locked into Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. This has left Napoli with some holes in the center of the park, and yesterday with CdS, Aurelio De Laurentiis all but confirmed the first replacement, Real Betis’ Fabián Ruiz.

Who is Fabian Ruiz?

Fabián Ruiz Peña was born on April 3rd, 1996, in the suburbs of Seviila, and he has been a part of Real Betis since he was 8 years old, working his way up from youth system to senior club. Currently, he has played 59 games for his boyhood clubs senior squad, but this past season was his breakout campai

In a club that surprised La Liga this season, finishing 6th, Ruiz provided a major amount of the creativity in a balanced midfield, featuring former Man City man Javi Garcia, and Andres Guardado.

Where does he play?

Fabián Ruiz plays as a creative presence from Central Midfield. Think a traditional number 8(most the time). Ruiz is quite tall(6’3″) and considering his skillset, makes him especially difficult to nod off the ball. He played in 34 matches last season for Betis, with 29 as a CM, 4 as a CAM, and 1 as a LW. The 22 year old provided 3 goals and 7 assists, and has a myriad of positives as a buy for Napoli, which I will showcase below.

What does he offer Napoli?

  • Creativity – The young man from Sevilla offers a major creative presence in the midfield. He provided 7 assists, which was tied for second on Betis. Also, Ruiz completed 2 succesful dribbles per match, which ranked him 10th in la Liga.
  • Versatility – Depending on how Napoli set up under Ancelotti, Fabian could be used a few different ways;
    • Forward Thinking: He could be used as a more offensive minded CM in a 3-man midfield, think Marek Hamsik’s role the past 2 seasons. He has the creative chops to do so, and is a little more difficult to knock off the ball.
    • Deep-Lying Playmaker: If Napoli go 4-2-3-1, Fabian Ruiz could be the man pulling the strings. He did complete 87% of his passes last season, and average about 65 completes passes per game. So thinking a double pivot of Ruiz-Allan or Ruiz-Rog could be very useful.
    • Hole Player: Ruiz hasn’t played this position much, but I could see him as a “#10” in a 4-2-3-1 as well. He is a very good passer and has the technical ability to make defenders miss. He also can do this:

All in all, I think this is a very strong move for Napoli, and there seems to be a trend here with versatile players. Ruiz offers a ton of promise, and even at 30 Million Euros, I think this is a very good buy for the Partenopei.


By Ken Cioffredi (@NapoliStats)

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