Somethings aren’t meant to be. Then, again, in hindsight, some things are. The departure of John Stones to Manchester City has flung open the transfer window, where Everton are peering into the grand European vista looking for a suitable replacement. Wait, what’s that? Is that a smoke signal in the horizon? It seems to be. It reads ‘SOS, ASAP, Regards, Bruno Martins Indi.’
Everton find themselves in a zen-like spot of serendipity. The answer has, figuratively, arrived on a postcard. The stamp’s Portuguese.
The player who has been once billed as the ‘most talented defender since Jaap Stam’, has dropped out of Porto’s pre-season preparations, and training with the reserves as he reportedly waits for a bid from Dutch compatriot, Ronald Koeman’s Everton to come in a sweep him off his foot, the damsel, having had a successful working relationship at Feyenoord.
A Bola (whose rumours are as contagious and ill-gotten as a phonetically-close disease – someone had to say it) opines that 24-year-old, Bruno Martins Indi has fallen out with the hierarchy at Porto, due to him rejecting a move to Dinamo Kiev, and holding out for transfer to Goodison.
Srijandeep, weighs the pros and cons of the move in this SWOT analysis, to peruse whether a reunion may be exactly what Everton needs.
Bruno… Let’s just refer him by his first name, because it’s pretty boss. So, Bruno, was one of the most sought after defenders in the Eredivisie, with Manchester United, Arsenal and the small club across Stanley Park being interested in his services. A regular fixture for The Netherlands, his sheer physical and technical prowess outshone most of the Dutch defenders in the national side – establishing himself as the very first name on Ronald Koeman’s team-sheet at Feyenoord.
“He could be the country’s first choice left-back for the next 10 years. It’s only logical that big clubs are after him.”
– Then Feyenoord gaffer, Ronald Koeman.
Technically snug at either left-back or the centre, Bruno is a bit of beast, rarely ever not coming on top in an aerial duel. Emphatic and clean in the tackle without the ball, and at ease with it, Bruno has shown a tendency to build play from the back.
Bruno’s outward attributes can be double-edged. He often relies on his sheer pace and physicality to compensate for lapses of positioning, making up ground in order to catch up with the attacker. His versatility has often left him too far off left-of-centre at times when the team is hit on the counter.
Bruno has all the physical and technical attributes to slot right into that John Stones shaped hole and bask in the hurly-burly of the Premier League.
Buffer period would be required for him to come to terms with the tempo of the league. While Bruno may have all the tools, Ronald Koeman would need to emphasise to him the fact that the bar would be raised much higher than his time in The Netherlands or in Portugal. Defensive lapses would be punished more brutally. But, considering the calibre of coach Koeman is, adding to Bruno’s tactical awareness would be a challenge that he’d welcome.