As explained by RMC Sport, the arrival of Ruslan Malinovskyi at OM is on the right track. At 29, the creative and attacking Ukrainian midfielder had a frustrating first half of the season with Atalanta Bergamo.
Pablo Longoria is the stubborn type. Tell him “no”, he will wait, sure of himself, and come back a little later, with more arguments to convince you. After having failed last summer to exchange Cengiz Ünder against Ruslan Malinovskyi, the president of OM is now on track to sign the Ukrainian international. As explained by RMC Sport, an agreement is close to being reached with Atalanta around a loan with an obligation to purchase 10 million euros, excluding bonuses. The case is on the right track. Between the definitive departure of Gerson from Flamengo, that of the flop Luis Suarez in Almeria on loan with an option to buy, and the long-term injury of Amine Harit, recruiting attacking elements has become a priority this winter for the Marseille leaders to stay on the Ligue 1 podium and get a ticket for the next C1.
Less used in Bergamo
Malinovskyi’s profile has always pleased Longoria, constantly on the lookout for nice moves on the transfer market. At the age of 29, the native of Zhytomyr, a city 140 kilometers west of kyiv, has a solid CV. Even if he is no longer an indisputable starter this season in Bergamo. Which probably explains why his club, currently 7th in Serie A, no longer makes him an untransferable element. In the 3-4-1-2 dear to Gian Piero Gasperini, he faces competition from Brazilian Ederson and Croatian Mario Pasalic as playmaker, among others, and different profiles for the two places in attack: the Colombian Duvan Zapata, the Nigerian Ademola Lookman, the Dane Rasmus Hojlund… Result: he has alternated in recent weeks between tenure and frustrating passages on the bench. Wednesday, for the resumption of the championship, he was only entitled to ten short minutes on the ground of La Spezia (2-2).
Inevitably, his statistics sheet does not take off: a single goal and two assists in 15 appearances. A performance far from its usual standards. The 2019-2020 season, his first in Italy, ended with a total of nine goals and seven assists in 44 games played in all competitions. If he has lost his influence at Atalanta, Malinovskyi remains a player apart. A left-hander who shines above all by his reading of the game, his ability to quickly get in front of goal to delight his partners by breaking the opposing lines, and who never hesitates to take his chance from afar. His hitting quality is formidable. Finding the skylight on a missile at 25-30 meters does not scare him.
A dreadful strike
“As soon as he could walk, he started playing. He would make a ball out of socks and he would play in the hallway of our apartment, he would kick his ball through the doors. Sometimes he would knock so hard that the neighbor believed that we had come to rob him. And that did not make him laugh too much, “said, amused, his mother Ekaterina, with Sport Foot Magazine in 2019. “At four years old, Ruslan was already accompanying me to the club. goal for three or four hours without stopping. He was also a ballboy. In his mind, it was football 24 hours a day. As soon as he got home from school, he left for training, and afterwards, he was still playing. He even changed schools to have more facilities for training”, added his brother Aleksandr to the Belgian newspaper.
If he relies mainly on his left paw, Malinovskyi also knows how to score (and score) with the right. Mainly at the entrance to the surface or on a set piece. He is also a good dribbler, at ease in small spaces and who likes to come back in line to be on the last pass. A creator or second striker profile, rarely moved in duels – he peaks at 1.81m – which seems to correspond to the scheme(s) adopted by Igor Tudor since the start of his Marseille adventure. His propensity to take risks can lead to some waste but his direct play could perfectly marry with the tactical plans of the Croatian coach. 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 blamed Ruslan for not defending enough when the team did not have possession of the ball. He was whistled on the field. You quickly see if a player applies your recommendations to training. It’s a question of character, but also of intelligence. And I realized that Ruslan was motivated to improve, “confided last year to So Foot his former trainer in Genk, Philippe Clement, today on the bench of AS Monaco. Malinovskyi tasted Belgian football from 2016 to 2019. The time to win the national championship, the last year, under the orders of Clement, and to assert himself at the same time as a pillar of the Ukrainian team (51 caps, 7 goals ).
Long before, there were long years of training within the demanding Shakhtar academy, loans to Sevastopol, in D2, then to Zorya Louhansk, in D1, before the big jump to Belgium and KRC Genk, revealing local talents (Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne, Leandro Trossard…) or foreign talents (Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic…). The perfect destination to burst the screen. As was then Atalanta, where he rubbed shoulders with the Champions League. He is now at a new turning point in his career. He needs a rebound to become the one who enchanted Europe not so long ago with Papu Gomez. OM only asks for that.