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What is potential Sunderland signing Robbin Ruiter really like? An FC Utrecht fan’s view

Sunderland trialist Robbin Ruiter impressed in his debut against Bradford on Saturday, and although Simon Grayson refused to give anything away in regards to whether we’ll be signing the Dutchman, it’s entirely likely that he could be set for a permanent move. But what is he really like? We spoke to FC Utrecht fansite FCUFANS to get some insight on what we can expect should we opt to sign him.

RR: Robbin was impressive in our pre-season win at Bradford on Saturday. How would you describe the goalkeeper from his time at FC Utrecht?

FCF: I would describe him as a positive and smart goalkeeper.

He doesn't just kick the ball anywhere - he tries to find a player to play to. He’ll give it to the full backs to try and build from the back and from the wings. He releases the ball quickly. He reads the game very well.

“He’s clever with his distribution”

RR: What are his biggest strengths? He made an outstanding close range save on Saturday!

FCF: I think his biggest strength is the distance he gets on his kicks, actually.

I would say he's also a good organiser and communicates well with his defence. He's a complete goalkeeper in my opinion. Let's just say he let's the guys at the back know if they are not doing what he asks them to! He’s steady and safe.

RR: And what are his biggest weaknesses?

FCF: I struggle to pick a huge weakness. He collects crosses, is a good shot stopper and is a good decision maker. He’ll do a very good job for you I feel.

RR: What was his form like before he got injured last season?

FCF: Yes, before he got that unfortunate injury he was in outstanding form. He had kept four clean sheets and got a serious injury in November. We were 7th in the league around then and he set the defensive foundations for a very good season.

As fans, we were pleased to have him in goal for the team as we felt he was a good goalkeeper that we could rely on. He’s a goalkeeper you can depend on, I can promise you that. He makes mistakes, but don’t all goalkeepers sometimes? Nothing major.

FC Utrecht v FC Twente - Eredivisie Europa League Play off
“As fans, we certainly have many good memories of him and would like to do see him do well there”
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

RR: Are you surprised that more teams aren’t in for him?

FCF: There was a period where he was being looked at by AZ Alkmaar - it was a deal that looked likely to come off. He had spoken about leaving for a new challenge. Robbin has been with us a good amount of time so it seemed to make sense. The teams couldn’t agree a fee, though, and he remained with us, continuing his good form.

In the aftermath of that move is when he experienced the injury during a 3-3 draw against Feyenoord - that finished his season off and perhaps came at a disappointing time for him personally when it was looking like a move was possible due to his form.

RR: Overall, do you think Robbin Ruiter will do well if he signs for Sunderland AFC?

Robbin has a lot of experience and is at a good age. He certainly knows what he is doing. I hope if you do bring him in, it’s for the number one jersey and that the fans give him a chance to prove himself, as I think over time he will be a really good asset to you. I hope Sunderland enjoy Robbin as much as we did in Utrecht!

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