Real Madrid should renew their interest in Serie A star amidst his breakout


Real Madrid do not have a pressing need in midfield for the summer 2022 transfer window, but that did not stop them from showing interest in Manchester United star Paul Pogba. While that ship has now seemingly sailed, the links to Pogba were a reminder of two things. Firstly, that Los Blancos are always monitoring. And secondly, that midfielders who can contribute to goals are favored by Florentino Perez.

Pogba was a popular transfer target for Los Blancos in rumors during the 2019-2020 season. But so was Fabian Ruiz. Unlike Pogba, Dani Ceballos’ former teammate at Real Betis has actually increased his reputation since then. In fact, he is enjoying a breakout season, the finest of his career thus far in 2021-2022.

Napoli have been exciting to watch, and perhaps nobody has been more fun to watch than Ruiz. The Spanish international has one of the sweetest left feet you’ll see, and he may be second to only Toni Kroos on the list of midfielders who can stroke a perfect finesse shot past the keeper from the edge of the box.

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So far in the 2021-2022 Serie A campaign, Ruiz has five goals and two assists. The 25-year-old has an additional assist in the Europa League. He is averaging 1.3 key passes per game in Serie A with 1.7 key passes per game, 1.3 dribbles per game, and a foul drawn per game in European competition. Overall, he completes 91.6 percent of his passes in Serie A, averaging nearly 75 attempts per match. Finally, Ruiz has pitched in defensively with 1.9 tackles per game and 0.9 interceptions per game in the league, as well as one tackle per game and 1.7 interceptions per game in the Europa League.

Fabian Ruiz has become a true star for Napoli

Those are fantastic numbers. Ruiz is becoming an all-around star in the Napoli midfield and is a huge reason why the Azzurri are in a position to win an elusive Scudetto. His breakout has been the missing piece to Napoli, and while he offers more than just one thing to this team, the goals truly do stand out.

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Real Madrid balked at Napoli’s huge asking price a couple of years ago – and for good reason. Ruiz had promise but was not nearly this productive, consistent, or well-rounded. Things have really clicked for him now, and he is entering his prime as a midfield maestro in Serie A.

It would make sense for Los Blancos to circle back with interest in Ruiz. Not that they NEED to sign him or any midfielder, but he should be on their list. You never know when a need will surface in the future, and you also never know when a market opportunity will either.

Ruiz’s contract, after all, ends after the 2022-2023 season. If Real liked Pogba’s experience and attacking upside as a possible free agent signing for all levels of the squad, why wouldn’t Ruiz interest Los Merengues in 2023? Luka Modric may be retired by then (we shall see, because he is still incredible) and that may result in an opening for the left-footer on the right side of the midfield. Though, presumably, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga would compete there.

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Depth in midfield is important to Real Madrid. And we know the fans like to have some more representation of the club in the Spanish national team. Ruiz has worked hard to become a top-class midfielder, and he is a half-season further into fulfilling his potential.

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Napoli are not easy to negotiate with, but that may not matter two years from now. Or even this coming summer if Napoli feel forced to sell before his contract expires. As the saying goes, watch this space. Ruiz is a one-time favorite of rumor sites to link to Madrid, and he may very well be someone Los Blancos will try to sign in the future.


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