From one of the most promising Italian defenders, to Inter’s captain, to Hull City.
Andrea Ranocchia’s ride has not gone as what he would have expected, but he now finds himself in another position to remake himself. There’s a longstanding tradition of Italian players improving immensely after they turn 30 years old, maybe a trip to the Premier League is just what he needed.
Ranocchia has never played outside of Italy, yet when he stepped onto the pitch for 24 minutes facing Manchester United, he didn’t put a step wrong. Let’s face it, Hull City are in a really tough spot and have been in one since before the pre-season began. They find themselves in 19th place in the Premier League table, but their coaching change to bring in Marco Silva has bared some fruit in the form of 4 points in the last three games.
The Italian has been brought in to help reinforce a backline that has been utterly dominated by the opposition this season. They have allowed the second most goals (47) in the Premier League only behind Swansea City (52) but are only four points behind the lead. There is hope that they could survive the drop, but it’s going to take quite a new look side in order to pull it off.
On Wednesday against United, Ranocchia came on in the 66th minute and cleared the ball the second most only behind Michael Dawson who played the full 90. The way Silva deployed Ranocchia was to simply get the ball out of dangerous areas and take no chances. He accomplished both. His contributions also led to the club’s first cleansheet in six matches.
Ranocchia has ample experience playing in a five man defense, which is what the Tigers shifted to once he came on for Josh Tymon in the second half. Perhaps that is the way forward for Hull City in their quest to stave off certain relegation.
The road back to the top is going to be long and arduous for the once Inter captain. He started off poorly with an Inter in chaos and simply never recovered. Now he’s over 1,000 kilometers away, and maybe, just maybe he can once again play like he should.