Moritz Bauer: The RFPL’s latest export to England

Moritz Bauer has become the most recent RFPL export to the English Premier League, moving from Rubin Kazan to pastures new with currently-managerless Stoke City. The Austrian put pen to paper on a 4.5-year contract, in an undisclosed deal we understand to be as high as €6 million.

Bauer joined Rubin in the summer of 2016, the first signing made under the management of Javi Gracia in a summer where the club ended up spending €40m in total, and around €4 million of that was on Bauer. A right back, he quickly established himself as first choice in his favoured position for Rubin and soon became a fan favourite thanks to his confident and impressive performances, picking up four assists in his first ten appearances for the club.

Since then, Bauer has rarely been out of the Rubin side, and his performances have seen him earn international recognition, picking up four caps for Austria, the nationality of his parents despite being born in Switzerland, in which he has caught the eye of the fans and pundits alike.

To top things off, Bauer was voted Rubin’s player of the year for 2017, highlighting just how far he has come and that despite poor defensive performances from the team as a whole, Bauer’s strong performances and hard working attitude made him stand out as consistent performer on a regular basis, arguably establishing himself as one of the leagues top three right backs, along with Mario Fernandes of CSKA Moscow, and Igor Smolnikov of Zenit St. Petersburg.

Bauer in action for Rubin Kazan during the 2016/17 season. Photo: Rubin-kazan.ru

The Austrian’s style of play is marked by a number of qualities which should help him adapt well to English football and Stoke in particular. As a right back, Bauer has a combination of excellent speed, strong technical ability, even in tight spaces, and a powerful attacking mentality which see’s the Austrian roam forward at any opportunity to put his excellent crossing to use. He also has a mean long throw in. Bauer is a very clever individual as you will soon find out, and so while he can often lack in his defensive positioning – sometimes making up for it with his pace – he does have the mental ability to learn, adapt and improve himself under the experienced coaches of the Premier League.

Off the pitch, Bauer is one of the most interesting personalities in football and has hobbies that most footballers wouldn’t even think of doing. Perhaps most notably, he is a qualified pilot and regularly flies propeller aeroplanes during his breaks from football. He can also play the piano and is a polyglot, speaking five languages; French, German, English, Spanish and a basic level of Russian, which due to picking up quickly by living with a Russian family, made him a big favourite among Rubin fans.

Bauer’s departure from Rubin is a forced departure, and the club and fans alike would both prefer to keep hold of their favourite player, but due to their poor financial situation, Rubin asked all but four of their foreign players to find a new club, Bauer being the first to do so.

Rubin’s fans will miss him greatly, and when rumours of his departure began to surface, a number of fans commented on the Rubin Hoods supporter group on Russian social network VK and the general theme was of great sadness and regret, though some comments stand out to paint a picture of just how endeared he was:

“Good luck Moritz, no questions to you, always gave everything to the field!” – Artem Rubinov

“Moritz, I can only wish you good luck in your new club, though I would prefer that you did not leave!” – Sergey Krymsky

“Moritz is worthy of the Premier League, good luck!” – Igor Potapov

With the more recent transfers from Russia to England not panning out so well – Oumar Niasse, Ahmed Musa, Ragnar Sigurdsson and Yohan Mollo – Bauer will be hoping to break the mould and help his new club in what looks to be a relegation battle for the second half of the season. Having come to learn what Bauer is like as a person and player, there is a general acceptance among the fans that Bauer has the ability to cope with Premier League football, though only time will tell.

Author: David Sansun

Arsenal and Rubin Kazan fan. Possibly too optimistic for Russian football which means I’m left disappointed a lot.

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