Chris Rea once sang: ‘Driving home for Christmas’. Well, it looks like Bruno Peres returned home right after Christmas. Peres is back in Rome for the first time since July 2018, after two rather unsuccessful loans in Brazil—at Sao Paolo and Recife. An absence of one-and-a-half years in which we read or heard almost nothing about Peres in the media. Some people already forgot about his existence, that he still was Roma’s property, let alone come back to Rome and steal Florenzi’s spot.
But look at that, not even 20 days after his return, Bruno has already chosen his shirt number (33, somewhere in Italy Matteo Brighi is crying) and more importantly, he already played approx. 10 minutes in the Coppa Italia against Parma. Miracles do happen, boys and girls, even though Christmas is behind us.
So what’s next for Peres? Soon to be 30 and once hailed as the next Cafu, Bruno Peres
is was your prototypical aggressive Brazilian wing-back who likes to dribble, sprint past his man and shoot at goal. He can play right-back, wing-back or even as a right midfielder, so basically everywhere along the right flank.
Sadly, that was 2016 Bruno Peres. Bruno Peres 2.0, the one from 2020, has lost a lot of his confidence I reckon. A shadow of his former self, only 35 or so games since he left Roma. He couldn’t even break into the first XI at Sport Recife in the Brazilian 2nd division. Not really rock-bottom, but close.
But has the talent really gone? Don’t they always say ‘class is eternal’? Did our eyes simply fool us four years ago? I thought I saw a Bruno Peres who was one of Serie A’s best fullbacks. A machine for Torino. A player who was seduced by the best clubs in Italy and other major leagues. Heck, even his maiden season in Rome wasn’t THAT bad, with 30 games and 2 goals and a record 87 points in Spalletti’s side.
And who can forget that spectacular goal line clearance, that stunning foot/toe save in the Champions League against Shaktar? Without Peres, there would be no Barcelona miracle or semifinal against Liverpool. His toe made millions for Roma while I work my ass off every day for a penny, two slices of bread and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos which passed its expiration date.
Still, we can’t keep living in the past. Right now, Roma has plenty of options at right back. Florenzi, Santon,
Politano Spinazzola. However, I have a feeling Peres won’t give up that easily. He’s quietly working his way up (in the background, sure) but the fact that Fonseca let him play for 10 minutes in the Coppa says something. Fonseca had other options than Peres against Parma: Santon, Cetin, Juan Jesus. Guys who have been around longer than him.
Maybe Paulo likes what he sees from Peres in training. Maybe he has a plan, maybe he wants to experiment more with a 3-4-3/3-5-2 which suits Bruno Peres like a glove. The good old Peres, that is. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there’s a lot of work to be done, but who knows, Bruno might go out with a bang after all.
He gives Fonseca more options on the bench and that’s something, especially with all these injuries plaguing Roma left and right. Next to Serie A, there’s another Coppa clash coming up and in February, European midweek games. We’ll need the bodies and like it or not and Peres basically came for free.
Speaking of Europe, that might be the ideal stage for Bruno to show his worth. Show the world he’s not finished yet. Remember 2018.
So everybody in Church rejoice, Peres is back! And guess what, he brought his big toe with him.