Rumour: Arsenal and Manchester United target Italy defender Andrea Ranocchia
Italy international Andrea Ranocchia is reportedly set to hand in a transfer request in order to force through a move away from Inter Milan. Central defender Ranocchia has become frustrated at no longer being guaranteed a starting berth in the Italian capital, and is said to be willing to force through a move away from the club in January. The Express report that Ranocchia has been interesting a host of Premier League clubs, namely Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United.
Inter manager Walter Mazzarri has been told that he must sell before he is able to buy in January, and as such is said to be receptive to the idea of Ranocchia leaving the club. The 6ft 5 defender has made 12 league appearances for the Italian giants this season, scoring one goal. However, in recent weeks his place has been under threat, and he has only completed 90 minutes in two of the club’s last six fixtures.
Whether the Italy international would gain the first-team place that is currently eluding him at Inter elsewhere remains uncertain. A move to Arsenal would require him to dislodge one of Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny, a task that has proved beyond club captain Thomas Vermaelen, while across north London, Tottenham have a host of defenders competing for two places.
Ranocchia is an imposing player, given his height, and has unsurprisingly won an impressive percentage of his aerial duels. Out of 61 headers contested he has won 35 of them, a success rate of 57%. His tackle success is even higher, at 17 out of 28. This means that 61% of his tackles are successful, a higher percentage than all of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham’s central defenders and behind only Per Mertesacker (62%) at Arsenal.
Willing to put his body on the line, Ranocchia has completed 12 blocks. This is the most at the club, and the fourth highest in Serie A. His blocks have come as part of an average of 8 defensive actions per game.
At 86%, Ranocchia’s pass accuracy is not great and it plays into the ‘big man’ stereotype. However, this can be explained by looking at how his passes break down. A large percentage are either long balls or headed passes, indicating that he is playing for a side that play more out from the back than the teams that he is rumoured to be sparking interest from. This is backed up by the fact that Ranocchia’s pass accuracy is not that bad when compared to his fellow Inter centre-backs. Whilst it is below the 89% of Hugo Campagnaro, it is above the 81% posted by Walter Samuel.