United States midfielder Michael Bradley is on the brink of signing a six month loan deal with Aston Villa from his current club Borussia Moenchengladbach who play in Germany’s Bundesliga.
The 23 year old, who has already amassed 50 caps for his country and played at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 World Cup, is the son of former US national team manager Bob Bradley, who was widely tipped to get the Villa job following the departure of Martin O’Neil at the start of the season.
Bradley has experience of a number of Europe’s leagues, having played for Heerenveen in the Dutch topflight for three seasons prior to his two and a half seasons with Moenchengladbach. However, this season the German side lie bottom of the Bundesliga and are without a win at home all season.
The loan move for the former New York Metrostars’ player is likely to confirm the departure of Stephen Ireland to Newcastle, although the Villa fans could be forgiven for not noticing a change in the personal of the midfield, considering that both players are agile central midfielders who like to get forward when possible; not to mention their lack of hair at such a young age.
With Villa currently in 13th spot in the Premier League, six points from the bottom three but ten points off a Europa League place, Bradley’s experience in knock-out football with the national team, he was part of the side that won the 2007 Gold Cup and was runners up in the 2009 Confederations Cup, could well be invaluable. As could his desire to play European football again, having last experienced it during his second season in the Netherlands as he played four matches in the UEFA Cup.
It could well be that, if the young American gels well with the rest of the Villa midfield and shows promise in the Premier League, he could well find himself making his move to the Midlands permanent come the summer, especially if Moenchengladbach cannot, as it looks ever more unlikely, stave of relegation.
If so he would follow an ever growing list of US stars, including Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Brad Friedal, and previously Carlos Bocenegra and Casey Keller, to call the Premier League their home.