Foot surgery robbed Utrecht of Rubio Rubin for most of last season but the youngster is fully fit and ready to take the Eredivisie by storm.

  • By Michael Bell
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Born in Oregon, United States, started his playing career with Westside Metros as a ten-year-old before moving to IMG Academy. Scouts from Utrecht were impressed by what they saw from the youngster, who was also starring for the USA U17 squad, and in 2014 Rubin signed a four-year-deal to move to the Netherlands.

Rubin was instantly thrust into the Utrecht first team, starting the club’s second game of the season against Willem II and the forward made an instant impact with an assist in a 2-1 win. Rubin made a further 27 league appearances during his first campaign, impressing in several positions and scoring three goals while adding a further five assists.

His form saw Rubin make his full debut for the US national team, and he was expected to be a key player for new Utrecht boss Eric ten Hag last season. However, Rubin only started one of the opening eight games before foot surgery ruled him out for five months. Rubin returned in March but in a bid to regain fitness spent time playing for the U21’s where he netted three goals and contributed three assists in six games. He was back in the first team for the European play-offs and played a crucial role with an assist in the final first leg against Heracles which earned a 1-1 draw.

Rubin has impressed for Utrecht in pre-season, scoring three goals and the 20-year-old looks ready and raring to go at the start of the season.

Style of play

Rubin is naturally a poaching centre-forward who bases his game on his idol Javier Hernandez, but the youngster has impressed mostly for Utrecht on the wing or as an attacking midfielder. Rubin is a composed finisher in the box, but his main strength is his pace and dribbling skills which make him hard to stop on the wing, while he has also showcased an impressive passing range.

What can we expect from Rubin this season?

Rubin will be aiming to have an injury free campaign and a good run in the Utrecht first team. His pace and trickery makes him the perfect partner for centre-forward Sebastien Haller and if the two can click, Utrecht will be aiming for a top four spot.

The 20-year-old has made a big impression while playing for his country, but this could be the season he proves he can be a future superstar in Europe as well.

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