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Victor Ruiz is in Istanbul

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Preparing to sign for Besiktas.

FBL-EUR-C3-LIVERPOOL-VILLARREAL Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

Victor Ruiz is departing Villarreal after five years, preparing to sign a contract with Besiktas that will, it is rumored, pay him €1.8 million per year for three years. The transfer fee is €3m or so, presumably with some incentives as well.

Are we looking at alternatives? Yes, Sr. Roig says, we are, but we could also decide to stick with what we have got, which would presumably mean fielding Mario Gaspar as a fourth center back. That might not be the most terrible idea.

However, whether the best move in the face of defensive frailties last season is to leave only one of the four centerbacks in place, change out both the fullbacks, and only bring in a veteran CB (Albiol), is an open question.

Victor Ruiz leaves Villarreal having collected 47 yellow cards and 4 reds (38 and 3 in the first division, respectively, the others in Europe or Copa). Gonzalo Rodriguez is our all-time leader in red cards with six, btw. (h/t to @Riazor7).

We will miss Ruiz’s ability to make long passes out of the back, I believe. His heading ability has become less important with Funes Mori and Iborra on the team, and his petulance (which admittedly I find hard to forgive because of his performance at Anfield) won’t be missed much. He and Alvaro were both similar in terms of performance last season, and now they are both gone.