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A Perfect Replacement For Pickford? Who Is This Dutch Goalkeeper That Sunderland Are Looking To Sign?

Scout Report – Robbin Ruiter

It seems like the potential destination for Dutch goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter may be Sunderland. The north east club, new to the Championship after relegation from the Premier League in May, are keen to land the former FC Utrecht ‘keeper after the departures of both Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford. Here’s what we know about the 30-year-old stopper.


Born in Amsterdam, Ruiter honed his skills at the RKAV Volendam academy before breaking into first team at FC Volendam in 2009. He went on to make 78 appearances for the club before being snapped up by FC Utrecht in 2012.

A popular figure for most of his time there, Ruiter played 157 times in goal for Utrecht over a five-year period but was released at the end of his contract in July of this year and is now a free agent. His largely unremarkable career has meant that he is a completely unknown name in England, though may yet get his biggest move if Sunderland like what they see.

Style Of Play

Although his catching from set pieces is not shabby and he can use his awareness to help out his back four, Ruiter’s main selling feature is that he is an excellent shot-stopper.

He is remembered at FC Utrecht for saving three one-on-one’s in his first appearance for the club and at 6f 5in, provides quite a wall for strikers to get around if they are put through on goal. This is something that could be rather useful at Championship level.

His Future

Having been released, it’s difficult to know where Ruiter is expected to go next but one thing is for sure and that is, a move to Sunderland would be massive for the player.

At only 30 years of age, as a ‘keeper, he is a young man and has plenty of time to reach his peak that clearly has not arrived as yet. Utrecht have other options now but that does not mean the Amsterdam man is finished in the game and can, in fact, step up.

A move to the Championship in England must have been the furthest thing from his mind while playing at Utrecht last season. On occasions when Sunderland can get near their 48,000 capacity, he will feel like he is in another world, but it remains a possibility.

Whatever happens next for Ruiter, he should not be a forgotten man and could yet provide someone with an unexpected bonus signing, for a rather small fee.