After weeks of rumors and speculation, the deal is done: Napoli have signed Mario Rui from AS Roma. The deal is reported to be for an initial one-year loan with a €3.75 million fee, and a purchase option of €5.5 million that becomes mandatory after “reaching certain sporting targets,” as per the announcement made by Roma.
We’ve talked a lot about Rui over the last few weeks as this transfer has developed, and it’s certainly easy to see why some fans aren’t a huge fan of the signing. Rui isn’t a starting-caliber player for Napoli, and missed almost last season after a serious knee injury and never really gaining the favor of Luciano Spalletti. He’s certainly not the difference-making defender that Napoli fans want, either.
What Rui is, though, is a solid, reliable left back who can help free up Maurizio Sarri’s rotation and substitution options a bit, especially if one of Faouzi Ghoulam or Ivan Strinic leaves this summer as has often been rumored. Maintaining depth is vital for a team that wants to compete on several fronts like Napoli, and bringing in a player like Rui is a great way to do just that, especially with a relatively low and spread-out price tag.
Rui also very dearly wanted to be here, essentially forcing his way out of Roma and into this move to Naples. Hopefully that desire expresses itself on the pitch, because that can be a very, very valuable tool for a club like Napoli.
So welcome to Naples, Mario Rui. May your time here be successful, both for you and for the club. And please turn out to be a much better ex-Empoli-player-signing than Mirko Valdifiori was. Not that that’s a high bar to surpass.