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Who Are Ya? Michael Bradley

Villa are widely tipped to secure a loan deal for American midfielder Michael Bradley from Gladbach for the rest of the season so I thought I should really scrub up on the 23-year-old set to become Villa’s fourth US import. Interestingly the name Bradley links two of the current three with only Eric Lichaj spoiling the fun of having American’s Bradley Friedel, Bradley Guzan and now, potentially Michael Bradley. Michael is son of Bob, the US national team head coach who was hotly linked to the Villa job before Gerard Houllier. It was expected that if he were to join the club, the manager would have brought his son along to the club, and now it seems Michael is ready to make the move. Many will say this is merely another move by Randy Lerner, American, to showcase the nations talents in the Premier League but Bradley is a real prospect and is highly regarded in the US, often amongst the same breath as the likes of Landon Donavon and Clint Demspey. So here’s a little lowdown of some of the stats that you should know about the midfield man. I must stress that this is not a done deal yet, but is expected to go through in the next two days!

Bradley moved to Bundesliga side Gladbach, the full name of which I can’t be bothered to try and spell, from Heerenveen in the Dutch Premier League where he had a reputation, and a record to boot, for scoring goals from midfield. since moving for around £2m two-and-a-half years ago the young midfielder has been a mainstay in the German side’s XI. This season he has played 24 games in all competitions for the league’s bottom club, scoring 4 goals and assisting 3. In 35 games the previous season he managed just 3 goals as he acclimatized to the German game after scoring 5 in 28 in his first season at the club. It is his record in his last season in the Dutch league that he really caught the eye from midfield, scoring 15 goals in 33 games for Heerenveen at a rate of 1 in just over 2 games at just 20 years old! Impressive, but take into consideration the goalscoring records from the Eredivisie of the likes of Dirk Kuyt, Mateja Kezman and Afonso Alves, so what I’m saying is basically that the defending in that league is woeful. At just 23 years of age he has a staggering 50 caps at international level under daddy, scoring 8 goals.

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