Joe Ralls is a vital engine in Cardiff City's midfield and is a steady influence in a fast-intensity team
- Sportsmail's Secret Scout has been keeping tabs on Cardiff City's Joe Ralls
- Ralls's character and ability attracts the ball as he works box to box
- The midfielder has not got the pace to get behind his immediate opponent
Our scout is a top football expert who attends matches each week searching for the next star.
This week the Secret Scout checks in on 24-year-old Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ralls.
Read his report below...
This week the Sportsmail's Secret Scout checks in on Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ralls
CLUB: CARDIFF CITY
2017-18 APPS: 44
WHAT HAS HE GOT?
As Cardiff push for promotion to the Premier League, a vital engine in their busy midfield is this stylish 24-year-old.
Much has been suggested about the Neil Warnock way of playing over the years, but Ralls's character and ability attracts the ball as he works box to box to defend and attack.
This attractive left-footer has waited patiently during the management tenures of Slade, Solskjaer and Mackay, and now that he is established, I like the way he knows naturally when to hold and when to push forward.
When I saw him he was always looking over his shoulder and was aware of his colleagues from his left-centre midfield position. He will make good forward runs so he is difficult to pin down. He also has good power in his shooting.
Interestingly, when a team-mate failed with a free-kick, Ralls was then given responsibility. Many would think it would be difficult for him to adapt to Cardiff's style of play but he is the vital link and a steady influence in a fast intensity team.
24-year-old Ralls is an attractive left-footer and is a vital engine in Cardiff's busy midfield
WHAT DOES HE NEED?
He has not got the pace to get behind his immediate opponent but he more than compensates for this with his long and short passing. He is making his mark in a team who like to play forward early.
If he does come short and doesn't receive, he will spin forwards to support the longer pass. He has matured with age and after beginning at Aldershot and having a spell at Yeovil on loan, it has taken him a while to be accepted.
But he now gives the impression that in a side who played a more considered passing game he would be able to maximise his improvement. For the moment he is showcasing his calm football brain and intelligent movement in South Wales.
The English midfielder has not got the pace to get behind his immediate opponent
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