After the big-money move for Jordan Ibe, Bournemouth have raided Liverpool once again for their left-back Brad Smith. According to reports, Liverpool have accepted a £6m bid for the young defender and negotiations are ongoing regarding personal terms. Liverpool fans would have been looking forward to the left-back tussle between Alberto Moreno and Smith this season, with calls for the Australian international’s inclusion growing louder with each passing performance of the Spaniard. While the sale of Brad Smith has irked a section of the fan-base, the substantial fee and a rumoured buy-back clause has got them contended with the transfer. The fan would be hoping, with the inexperienced Smith on his way out, Klopp will invest in a left-back who is capable of challenging Moreno from the off.
We will execute a SWOT analysis of this Bournemouth target.
The 22-year old played for England U-17s but later decided to turn up for his country of birth Australia. The marauding left-back joined Liverpool at the age of 14 and seems to be nearing the end of his 8-year journey with the club. He is a dedicated player and is full of running. Brad is blessed with considerable pace and a bullish physique which renders him near unstoppable when making forays into the final third, and his strong reflexes and one-touch passing prowess allow him to combine effectively on the overlap. His natural attacking instincts set him apart and he would like to build upon his potential in Bournemouth where he is likely to get more minutes than at Anfield.
While the player has been lauded as an up and coming solid left-back, there are certain areas he needs to improve upon. His attacking forays have been widely applauded but much like Moreno at Liverpool, his positional sense has been called into question. Time and again he finds himself out of position and hence puts his back-line under pressure especially on the by-lines where the opposition attackers outnumber them. The reliability and defensive diligence are missing in this youngster’s play which is understandable given his age.
While he made 11 appearances for Liverpool, most of them came during the latter part of last season when Liverpool were in the midst of an injury crisis. Bournemouth will expectedly offer him a better chance to impress and hone his skills.
The chance to play more regularly in the Premier League will be a welcome scenario for the player and the club will hope Smith has a healthy competition for the left-back slot with the impressive Charlie Daniels. At 22 years of age, he has a large scope of improvement and the Cherries will hope he sustains his full potential at the club.
While Smith does have potential and promise, he is untested when it comes to facing better oppositions week in week out. At Bournemouth, he will be entering a scenario which is diametrically opposite from that of Liverpool. With the £6m price-tag attached to his name, fans will hope he does not feel the pressure to justify his price tag. And Bournemouth will be making a substantial investment from their point of view on a relatively inexperienced 22-year old. They will have to make sure he does not stagnate at the club and systematically plan out his progress.