Brighton and Hove Albion’s captain Bruno is still tussling for the right-back role with Italian defender Ezequiel Schelotto and after his performance in last Saturday FA Cup victory against Coventry City, it makes Chris Hughton’s decision of who to start against Swansea City on Saturday very difficult.
But one of the big questions with Bruno is that with him now being 37 years of age whether he still has the pace to be flying up and down the right flank for 90 minutes. Many people are not sure and this is why playing Bruno in central midfield could well be a better option.
This is not a position which is not familiar to Bruno, with him having played there a few times in his time at Brighton when the club were in The Championship. It would certainly work for a couple of reasons:
A new shield in front of the Albion defence:
The Seagulls would benefit from having Bruno in the midfield to play as a central defensive midfielder(CDM) and acting as a shield to sit and protect the defence. This is something which Brighton have not had since Liam Bridcutt left Albion to join Sunderland back in 2014. Bruno is still a great defender and would be perfect to sit there and protect the back four and also with his range of passing would allow him to be a deep-lying playmaker.
An experienced head in the middle of the park:
The move into central midfield for Bruno would also give Albion a vastly experienced head in the middle of the park. having made 20 appearances already in the Premier League and another 127 in the Spanish top flight, La Liga Santander the defender has coming up against top class players throughout his career like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and many others meaning he certainly knows how to thwart world-class talent.
However, the main problem is how Bruno would get in the starting eleven in the central midfield role. The current midfield partnership of Dale Stephens and Davy Propper have been outstanding so far this season and have really made it difficult for Beram Kayal to get a look in. In cup games, however, Bruno would certainly be up there as a first choice either at right-back or in the central midfield with Kayal and this would then allow Stephens and Propper the chance to rest up so they are a 100% ready for Brighton’s next Premier League fixture. This is why Hughton goes with one of Stephens or Propper to start the cup game and then replaces them with the other one for the second half as then they both get the same amount of rest and recovery as each other.
One thing is for sure, it will be interesting to see whether Bruno will be playing more at right-back this season or being given the chance to come into the midfield and show what he can do.