With Pablo Zabaleta reportedly close to swapping Manchester for Rome, City will need a replacement right-back to compete and rotate with Bacary Sagna. The name most commonly linked in recent weeks is 26-year-old Torino right-back, Bruno Peres, a player who few had even heard of until his move to Serie A in 2014.
Most Manchester City fans had probably never heard of Bruno Peres before last week. Can you give us a basic overview of the player?
Bruno Peres arrived from Santos in the Summer of 2014 and initially not much was expected of him – he wasn’t actually included in our Europa League squad for that season. In hindsight, that may have been an inspired decision as it allowed him to get to grips with the Italian league, which especially tactically, can take a while to adjust to. He rose to prominence with a magnificent goal in the derby against Juventus and hasn’t looked back really. Over the past few seasons Torino have played a 3-5-2 formation with Peres playing as a right win-back and occasionally as a left wing-back towards the end of last season.
We posted a clip of THAT goal against Juventus where he ran the length of the pitch, leaving Evra, Pogba and Vidal for dead before firing the ball past Marco Storari. Is he a ‘YouTube player’ or regularly this exciting?
That goal has certainly been his most memorable moment for the club but I certainly wouldn’t describe him as a ‘YouTube’ player. The context of that goal is perhaps important aswell – Torino hadn’t even scored a goal in the derby for 12 years until that strike, so the way in which he celebrated with the fans meant a lot as well – we had waited a long time for that. He is a naturally exciting player though, with great pace and dribbling ability and unlike many similar players, often has an end product.
What would you say his strengths and weaknesses are? He seems to be a very attacking full-back, but can he defend at all? And are there any areas Pep Guardiola could work on to improve him?
With Torino playing a 3-5-2 formation, Peres hasn’t had as many defensive responsibilities as he would had he been playing in a four man defence. Whilst defending obviously isn’t his main strength, I wouldn’t describe him as poor in that area at all and even if he does make an error, he can always use his pace to rectify it. I think he could certainly improve his goal scoring as with his talent he certainly should have a few more goals to his name. He can sometimes be guilty of being greedy as well, but in fairness to him, at times he was our only source of creativity last season.
Many Serie A to Premier League transfers have gone wrong, often because of the pace of the English game. Given his lightning pace (92 on FIFA!), do you think Peres would adjust quickly to the Premier League?
This is always a difficult question as you can never truly tell how a player will adapt to a new league. I felt Matteo Darmian would adapt very well and despite a strong start at Manchester United, he has struggled at times. I think he certainly has the attributes to be a success though – not only due to his pace, but he can look after himself as well and seems to be a strong character.
Torino have just sold Kamil Glik to Monaco, so may be reluctant to let another player go. How likely do you think it is that Peres goes this summer?
Torino are in the midst of rebuilding after a disappointing season so I think most Toro fans were expecting both Glik and Peres to depart. The club are quite well run financially so don’t have any real pressure to sell. However, I think if we can get a fair price (around €20m) that may be enough to get the deal done – and give Torino funds to rebuild the squad.