Radja Nainggolan – The Missing Piece To Inter’s Midfield Puzzle

Radja Nainggolan – The Missing Piece To Inter’s Midfield Puzzle
June 29, 2018 11:00
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If a player’s role is comparable to that in a movie, Radja Nainggolan would be portrayed as Mjölnir in the Thor series. Strong, fast, tenacious, dynamic, hardworking and, a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of Thor Odinson aka Luciano Spalletti.

Apart from these blessed physical attributes, Nainggolan is enormously enriched with great footballing abilities that may distinguish him as a rare breed. Furthermore, he is a complete and one of the best midfielders in the game. Gifted with playmaking abilities as well as that of a destroyer. Radja poses a strong resilient force in the midfield, immense passing range accompanied with eagle-like vision.


Name: Radja Nainggolan
Age: 30
Position: Midfielder.
Country: Belgium

Games (Subs): 47(5)
Goals: 12
Assists: 7
Key Passes: 83
Dribbles: 33
Tackles: 86
Interceptions: 42

Games(Subs): 42
Goals: 6
Assists: 11
Key Passes: 79
Dribbles: 63
Tackles: 67
Interceptions: 22


Nainggolan is more of a physical player reliant on stamina bailed out with good technique. He is an enforcer, that can break through defensive barriers to either fire a shot or set up a teammate. He also has an incredible shooting skill that allows him to unleash from range. Radja is capable of taking charge of a game, detecting the tempo, reading the game and ultimately deciding it.


Apart from clocking the big 30, which arguably doesn’t reflect on frailty, rather his off pitch habits of drinking and smoking posses as threats to his physical abilities and club management as well. On the pitch, he doesn’t really have a noticeable weakness, maybe we could say aerial balls because he really isn’t much of a tall figure but this can be overlooked since he has other useful qualities that covers it up.

How He Fits In Spalletti’s Tactics

It is very likely Nainggolan will be deployed as an attacking midfielder, the same role he played under Spalletti during the 2016/17 season. In a 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-1-2 set up, a typical trequartista behind a striker. Combining with the wingers to set up Icardi as well as driving into the box to score.

He can also be used as a box to box midfielder, pivotal role with either Brozovic or Gagliardini. This role will earn him more defensive duties, limiting his offensive movements. In a 4-3-3 system, Nainggolan can be played as a central midfielder, the same role can be given to him in a 3-5-2 formation

What To Expect

Expect that grinta and never say never attitude from Nainggolan. He is mentally and physically strong. He will give the team a fighting spirit adding to the new dimension he will bringing to the attack; could pass in between lines and also very dangerous on counter attacks. He is the type of player that rises to the occasion when things are difficult. Ninja as popularly known, is capable of shielding the ball against 2-3 players like a fierce animal mother protecting his eggs from predators.

He could stop an attack (a notorious ball winner) and start one instantly. Radja is very aggressive, a tough tackler player that can act as a team’s leader as well as being the most dangerous player on the pitch. He has a trait of showing up in ‘big games’ and also share a certain dislike for Juventus. What more can you ask for? He is simply a perfect fit.

Daniel Etefia
By Daniel Etefia

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