It appears as though Villarreal could take a leap and sign Gerónimo Rulli from Real Sociedad. According to AS, he is ‘one step away’ from signing. Of course, as usually happens with transfer rumors and this sight, you lot have already been discussing this transfer idea on another article and are probably only clicking here to see if I have found some sort of statistical comparison. So here you go, a deeper dive on Rulli than anyone asked for:
I took the last time Rulli played a full season in La Liga and compared it to our man Sergio Asenjo. Ligue One is frankly a weaker cup of tea than our Primera so I wanted to see apples to apples. As you can see, when it comes to stopping crosses and distributing the ball deep down field, Rulli has the advantage while Asenjo is by about eight percentile the better shot stopper.
I then slid on over to fbref and took a look at Rulli some more. Apparently his launched pass completion percentage jumped 15% when he moved to Ligue One, which is crazy but, again, lower quality of opposition. He also fared slightly better in post shot expected goals minus goals allowed, but again, he’s just not quite as good a shot stopper as Asenjo is. When I got into his data vs Asenjo’s over the last three years, I realized that the cross stopping % you see from Sergio above is the worst he’s had in the last three years. The other two years he and Rulli were in the same general ball park in that stat.
Frankly, when I break down these numbers... if Unai Emery is intent on using long passes from his keeper to start attacks, I could absolutely see him starting Rulli over Asenjo. What is more likely, in my opinion, is that if Rulli shows up it will be a situation where Asenjo stays active in La Liga while Rulli gets the cups. I don’t know the numbers on this deal yet, but if Real Sociedad wanted to just get out of Rulli’s contract and toss him to us for cheap, this is a signing I’d be very happy about.