Bryan Ruiz is returning to Dutch football, where he made his name at FC Twente before Fulham signed him for an undisclosed fee in August 2011.
The 28-year old links up with Phillip Cocu’s PSV Eindhoven until the end of the season, who currently sit seventh in the Eredivisie.
The Costa-Rican will be desperate to get some regular football under his belt before the World Cup in the summer, in which he is set to captain the nation team in Group D alongside Uruguay, Italy and England.
“It’s true I didn’t have much playing time at Fulham lately, so I see this as a great opportunity for me” Ruiz said.
He has made just 12 league starts for Fulham this campaign, and has only played 63 minutes under new boss Rene Meulensteen. The Dutch manager was evidently not Bryan Ruiz’s biggest fan but the decision to loan him out is a strange one.
Ruiz had only managed one goal all season, and that was back in September when Fulham lost 2-1 at home to Cardiff. Although he had managed to create 15 chances this season for a struggling Fulham side, grabbing three assists in the process.
It is bewildering that the Cottagers were happy to allow Ruiz to help PSV try and climb the Eredivisie rather than helping Fulham get out of their trouble as they currently sit in 16th, just one point above the relegation zone.
His flair and attacking play is what Fulham are in need of as they must score more goals if they are to avoid the drop. The West-London outfit have managed just 22 goals so far, ten fewer than they had at the same stage last season.
Adel Taarabt has started four of Fulham’s last five Premier League games under Meulensteen, and he will be expected to offer the spark that they need. Although the man on loan from QPR has managed just one assist and is without a goal in the same number of games as Ruiz had played.
It will be interesting to see if Fulham bring anyone in to play behind the striker, following reports of a failed move for West Ham’s Ravel Morrison.
Perhaps Meulensteen has a replacement lined up, but for now, it appears a brave move to allow the Costa-Rica captain to leave - one that may come back to haunt them.
image: © nicksarebi