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Rafael Benitez was keen on adding a goalkeeper to his ranks over the summer, and he remains determined in his quest to do so after the club failed to bring in new recruits for the somewhat problem position. With the winter window coming up, Real Sociedad’s Geronimo Rulli is reportedly a target, and the £15million-rated Argentine has been emerging as one of the most talented young shot-stoppers in La Liga over the last three seasons.
Blessed with superior reflexes, Rulli has been tipped to make the step up from Real Sociedad for quite some time and a move to Newcastle could give the 24-year-old the exposure he deserves.
Born in La Plata, Argentina, Rulli graduated from local Estudiantes’ youth setup, being promoted to the first-team squad in 2012, where he served as a backup to Justo Villar and Agustin Silva.
In 2014, Rulli was loaned to Real Sociedad for one year from Deportivo Maldonado, which had bought the player’s rights a month earlier. His loan was extended for a year, but he was then signed by Manchester City. The player did not really do much in the Premier League side and was loaned back to Real Sociedad, following which the La Liga club converted it to a permanent deal in January 2017.
Widely regarded as a player with lightning-fast reflexes, Rulli has been a rock for Real Sociedad in goal. He is adept at long passes and is excellent in one-on-one situations. He has made 11 appearances this season for the La Liga club, 4 of which came in UEFA Europa League encounters.
In the Spanish league, he has made a total of 23 saves so far while maintaining 3 clean sheets. The player also boasts of a 77% pass accuracy. On an average, Rulli concedes about 1.91 goals, which is quite a decent number. It only goes on to show how the player has developed.
Rulli could be tempted to join Newcastle if they make an offer in January. If that happens, there will most certainly be a tussle between him and Rob Elliot but for Darlow, this could mean the end of his time at the Tyneside club. He would likely be pushed down to being the third choice in the pecking order.
Although Darlow starred in Newcastle’s Championship winning season, he has not featured ever since Elliot returned from an injury. Thus, a move to Newcastle could benefit Rulli in providing him with the kind of exposure he failed to receive during his brief stint with Manchester City.