For such a high-priced signing, a lot of us didn’t know a whole lot about Bryan Ruiz. Unfortunately, I haven’t found many good information sources for the Dutch Eredivisie, but Ruiz does have a handful of Champions League and international appearances that I can pull shooting data from. A few things I was able to find:
- Has a 60-40 preference toward his left foot, but seems competent with both. He’ll mix a few headed shots in, mostly off of set pieces and crosses.
- Didn’t seem to create a lot of shots on crosses from out wide, but can create from central positions. That could show his versatility – he’s not necessarily just a winger.
- Generally hasn’t been used as a set piece taker. When he misses, he’s more likely to miss left or right than over the bar, so he may not have the excessive power that many teams want on free kicks. Relies more on accuracy.
Most interstingly, he really likes to shoot from long range, and he’s really great at it. Out of the 18 games I looked at, he only had one shot blocked. That’s excellent – only about 5% vs a Premier League average rate around 25%. He put 38% on target, which is slightly below average overall, but a very good rate for long-range shooters. If you take away set piece situations (where he seems to be a bit less effective), he’s up to 50% on target despite taking very difficult shots. Fantastic.
There’s been discussion of whether or not we could use him as a striker. It’s a small sample, but these numbers suggest that he’ll be extremely effective from typical midfield positions, and we should try to take advantage of that.