Fulham manager Martin Jol has backed Bryan Ruiz to play a pivotal role for the club next season.
The Costa Rica forward netted in the London side’s first fixture of their pre-season campaign, a 3-0 win over Cartagines in his homeland on Sunday.
And, though Jol accepts Ruiz is best employed in a traditional number 10 role, he believes the 27-year-old can utilise his versatility in order to make a big impact next term.
“Bryan wore number 11 last year because someone else had the number 10 but I think he is a typical number 10. He can play as a midfield player and he can play as a second striker,” he said.
“I have to say in one of our games at the end of last season he scored two goals and then I played him on the right and he played in Holland of course in a different system on the right.
“Bryan Ruiz is an offensive quality player who can play in three or four positions.”
The Dutchman also expressed contentment with Fulham’s performance against Cartagines, who finished second in the Costa Rican top flight last season.
“They had a good team, a good balance and a different system, so it was good for us to cope with it where the first half was a bit better probably than the second half,” he added.
“We had some good players that could make the difference, but I would say that they have four or five very good players as well.
“First priority is to get the players fit and to get their rhythm, another priority is not to lose because we don’t want to lose, and of course tactically you always work to try to get your own shape and your own system.
“That is what we did – first half was okay and in the second half they had two or three chances which forced a good save from our keeper. They had some quality as well and left some good players on the bench to bring on in the second half.
“I think they are a good team, they only conceded 18 goals, somebody told me, last year and we scored three against them so that is very satisfying.”
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