You’d have to imagine it was only a matter of time that it was too apparent to be ignored. From being obstinate about the credentials of James Milner and Alberto Moreno, Klopp while still convinced that Liverpool are packed in the defensive midfield position, he conceded earlier this week, that he can understand why fans have been calling for cover on the left side of defence.
Now, with 5 days remaining, time is of the essence, and while his hardened stance has softened, it leaves Liverpool with very little wiggle room to manoeuvre as far as arrivals are concerned. The transfer committee are probably working overtime to churn our viable targets, as it has come to the realisation that the left-back spot may be one position, where a lack of cover and quality could be inviting the most amount of damage and criticism – and could effectively shape the course of Liverpool’s campaign.
There may have been a postcard that arrived at Anfield Rd, Liverpool L4 0TH, United Kingdom, with the answer, with a Portuguese stamp on it, figuratively speaking.
Frozen out at Porto for demanding a move, Bruno Martins Indi (the bulgy eyes man) is someone who thinks the world of himself, and why not? A healthy dose of narcissism is imperative in the performing arts, and when you’re billed as the ‘most talented defender since Jaap Stam’, you’d be forgiven to expect better of the predicament Porto has put him in. In an era where a player has the right to choose which club would be favourable for his progressing, the 24-year-old irked the Porto hierarchy by rejecting a transfer to Dinamo Kiev – and biding his time for better offers to come in. Which did.
Liverpool reportedly put in a cheeky bid of 4.3 million GBP which was turned down by the Portuguese giants and are holding out for a whole amount of 6 million GBP. Reasonable? More than reasonable. It remains to be seen if Klopp would swoop again for the long-term Everton target over the summer, and Ronald Koeman favourite.
JD of The 4th Official investigates the talents of Bruno Martins Indi and why exactly Ronald Koeman and Everton are rightly miffed by Liverpool’s late approach.
“Definitely, The Netherland’s first choice left-back for the next decade. It’s only logical that big clubs are after him.”
– Then-Feyenoord manager, Koeman, 2013.
Bruno. That’s a boss name, innit? Let’s call him just Bruno. So, Manchester United, Barcelona, Valencia, Atletico, Arsenal, and the smallish club across Stanley Park were bent upon procuring the services of one of the more talented defenders in the Eredivisie not too long ago. Establishing himself as a starter for his national side, his mix of dominant physical attributes and competent technical abilities out-ranked most, if not all in the Netherlands. All the while, making himself a regular fixture in Ronaldo Koeman’s Feyenoord – in fact, one of the very first names on the team sheet.
Bruno has all the markings of a beast. Rarely ever beaten in the air. But that’s not all that there is to his game. Centre-back or left-back, he’s snug at either position owing to his more than modest technical ability, which is accentuated by his ability to patch up play from the backline. He switches from being thunderous to being clinical in the tackle. His superb body work is helped along by his usually indisputable core strength when shielding the ball, or going in shoulder to shoulder.
As with the case with most players who rely on their apex physicality, his strengths can often prove to be his weakness. He, on more than one occasion, bails himself out of his lapses of positioning, by using his sheer athleticism without the ball – pace, power and drive.
His proclivity for playing left-back has sneaked into his game when deployed as a centre-back sometimes, and vice versa. He finds himself caught trying to cover two zones, yet again, on the virtue of his physical prowess, when hit on the counter – a trait that can be double-edged, deepening on the nature and the positional astuteness of the opponent runner.
The Dutch International has been demoted to the reserves and frozen out for aforementioned reasons, and a move to Liverpool would be like disembarking on Ellis Island during the peak of amicable American immigration policies of the 1800s – and embarking upon a land of opportunities. Moreno needs the experience to play off, and Milner needs to be played less often as possible. He could own that birth by the virtue of his presence. He was chiselled for the blue-collared rigours of the Premier League.
With the successes of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, there is no premise to suggest that Bruno would require a buffer time to settle down. However, the bar and the tempo would be set much higher than his exploits in The Netherlands and in Portugal. That being said, considering what Bruno has to offer, and if his positional lapses (which could be punished cruelly in the Premier League) can be ironed out, Liverpool will stand to gain a lot more investing 6 million GBP in this transfer, than just leaving Everton fans fuming – that’s priceless in itself.