As explained by RMC Sport, Ruslan Malinovskyi’s arrival at OM is on track. At 29, the inventive and attacking Ukrainian midfielder has experienced a frustrating first half of the season with Atalanta Bergamo.
Pablo Longoria is the stubborn type. Tell him “no”, he’ll wait, sure of himself, and come back a little later, with more arguments to convince you. After failing to swap Cengiz Ünder for Ruslan Malinovskyi last summer, the OM president is now on course to sign the Ukrainian international. As explained by RMC Sport, an agreement is about to be reached with Atalanta around a €10m loan with an obligation to buy, excluding bonuses. The case is on its way. Between Gerson’s definitive departure from Flamengo, Luis Suarez’s flop to Almeria on loan with a buyout option, and Amine Harit’s long-term injury, the recruitment of offensive elements has become a priority this winter for the Marseille management for stay on the Ligue 1 podium and get a ticket to the next C1.
Less used in Bergamo
Malinovskyi’s profile has always pleased Longoria, who are constantly looking for good transfer moves. At 29, the native of Zhytomyr, a city 140 kilometers west of Kyiv, has a solid track record. Even if he is no longer the undisputed owner this season in Bergamo. Which probably explains why his club, currently 7th in Serie A, no longer makes him a non-transferable element. In the 3-4-1-2 dear to Gian Piero Gasperini, he faces competition from the Brazilian Ederson and the Croatian Mario Pasalic as attacking midfielder, among others, and different profiles for the two forward positions: the Colombian Duvan Zapata, the Nigerian Ademola Lookman , the Dane Rasmus Hojlund… Result: in recent weeks he has alternated between remaining in office and frustrating transfers on the bench. On Wednesday, for the resumption of the championship, he was only entitled to ten short minutes on the Spezia ground (2-2).
Inevitably his statistics sheet does not take off: only one goal and two assists in 15 appearances. A performance far from his usual standards. The 2019-2020 season, his first in Italy, ended with a total of nine goals and seven assists in 44 matches played in all competitions. Though he has lost his influence at Atalanta, Malinovskyi remains a separate player. A left-footed player who shines above all for his reading of the game, for his ability to arrive quickly in front of goal to delight his teammates by breaking the opposing lines, and who never hesitates to seize the opportunity from distance. His hitting quality is formidable. Finding the skylight on a missile at 25-30 meters doesn’t scare him.
A terrible strike
“As soon as he could walk, he started playing. He would throw a ball out of his socks and play in the corridor of our apartment, kicking his ball through doors. Sometimes he would knock so hard that the neighbor thought we had come to rob him. And this it didn’t make him laugh too much,” his mother Ekaterina said, amused, with Sport Foot Magazine in 2019. “At four years old, Ruslan was already driving me to the club. for three or four hours non-stop. His mind was football 24 hours a day. As soon as he came home from school, he would leave for training, and then continue playing. He changed schools to have more training facilities,” his brother Aleksandr added to the Belgian newspaper.
If he mostly relies on his left paw, Malinovskyi knows how to score (and score) with his right too. Primarily on entry to the surface or a set piece. He’s also a good setter, comfortable in tight spaces and who likes to get back on the line to be on the last pass. A creator profile or second striker, rarely moved in duels – it reaches a maximum of 1.81m – which seems to correspond to the pattern adopted by Igor Tudor from the beginning of his Marseille adventure. His propensity for risk can lead to some waste but his direct play could go perfectly with the Croatian coach’s tactical plans. Provided you manage your character well.
A strong character
“From time to time, he was too volcanic in his reactions. When I arrived at Genk, the fans accused Ruslan of not defending enough when the team didn’t have possession of the ball. He was booed on the pitch. See immediately if “A player apply your advice to training. It’s a matter of character, but also of intelligence. And I understood that Ruslan was motivated to improve,” his former coach at Genk, Philippe Clement, now on the AS Monaco bench, confided to So Foot last year. Malinovskyi tasted Belgian football from 2016 to 2019. winning the national championship, in his last year, under Clement’s orders, and simultaneously establishing himself as a pillar of the Ukrainian team (51 appearances, 7 goals).
Long before that, there were long years of training within Shakhtar’s demanding academy, loans to Sevastopol, D2, then Zorya Louhansk, D1, before the big leap to Belgium and KRC Genk, revealing local talent (Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne, Leandro Trossard…) or foreign talents (Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic…). The perfect destination to blow up your screen. Like Atalanta then, where they came close to the Champions League. Now she’s at a new turning point in his career. He needs a rebound to become the one who charmed Europe not long ago with Papu Gomez. OM asks just that.