Andrea Ranocchia is expected to move this summer and Newcastle United are said to be interested in the Italian defender, according to reports. The Magpies had a fairly comfortable season in the Championship and lifted the title under Rafa Benitez who is expected to add a few quality players to ensure the side can compete for more than just survival next season.
Ranocchia had a decent spell at Hull City under Marco Silva and showed enough ability to win a few suitors in the ongoing transfer window.
Rafa has a few decent defenders in Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles but they aren’t really proven Premier League centre-halves. Sure, they did a commendable job in the Championship but the gaffer isn’t the sort who will gamble on the current crop.
Ranocchia mustered 1.8 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game with Hull City last season. That doesn’t seem like a lot, even more considering the Tigers were often the inferior side in the games they played and saw less of the ball. What it does show that the Italian had a good game reading ability and made as many as 7.1 clearances a game, which proves the aforementioned.
He also recorded two assists, and is a good ball playing defender who tries to set off attacks, which is why his passing percentage is only 76.9%; he likes to take risks than just playing it safe. (Stats via Whoscored)
What’ll he offer the club?
Having signed Florian Lejeune recently, Benitez has quite a few centre-backs already. Unless he is targeting someone who is considerably better than the current crop, it’s not going to add too much value to the squad and could just be quantity (which they already have) over quality.
If he does sign though, Newcastle could have the provision of playing a three at the back set up, something Rafa isn’t known for really. His experience could come in handy, however.
Is Ranocchia worth the money?
Reports indicate that Ranocchia will cost around 5 million pounds, which isn’t a lot for a defender of his calibre. He is 29 and still has a lot to offer, so he’d be a pretty good signing for that fee. Out of all the defenders the Magpies have, he’d be the most experienced and hence would be a good addition.
After impressing with Genoa and Bari, Ranocchia had an impressive start to life with Inter Milan but had gone off the boil. Perhaps a change of scene and a longer run in the Premier League is what he needs.