The ability of Liverpool to purchase the Real Madrid forward they are interested in, who could replace Fernando Torres at Anfield, may depend on Xabi Alonso.
Spanish players enjoyed a revival at Liverpool under Rafa Benitez. Players like Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina, lvaro Arbeloa, and Albert Riera were just a few of the stars who showed up at Anfield and quickly established themselves as essential components of the first team during the early and late 2000s.
But, it wasn’t only the members of the original team. From the personnel and coaches to the academy players, there was a strong Spanish presence throughout. Yet when Benitez’s influence waned over time, Liverpool’s Spanish player acquisition fell off as well.
Just midfielder Thiago Alcântara and third-choice goalkeeper Adrián are currently representing Spain in the first-team lineup. Only four players from Spain have played for Jürgen Klopp at Anfield since he came over, including Pedro Chirivella and Alberto Moreno before them. Yet the Liverpool manager can soon increase that to five.
Fichajes claims that Real Madrid’s 18-year-old attacker Iker Bravo, who has three goals and three assists in just four games this season in the UEFA Youth League, is a target for Liverpool and Newcastle United.
Bravo, who is on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, has also consistently played for the club’s second team in Spain’s third division. Despite this, he has only started eight games for this team and is typically brought on to play the final 10 or 15 minutes of games, so it’s impressive that he has still scored two goals.
Originally from La Masia, Bravo caused a stir when he transferred from Barcelona to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2021 following an excellent goal-scoring run for Spain’s U16 team at underage levels. When he made his Bundesliga debut for Leverkusen in 2021, he overtook Florian Wirtz as the club’s youngest-ever player. He also attracted the spotlight at the U17 level, contributing to three goals in 14 games.
Bravo, who is not the tallest striker, is quick and deceptively adept in the air, and his explosiveness has led to comparisons to Fernando Torres. It is clear why Liverpool would be interested in Bravo.
Real Madrid now has the option to purchase Bravo for $10.6 million (£8.9 million/€10 million), but the Fichajes report claims that Real Madrid is attempting to negotiate a deal to buy him for less, opening the door for Liverpool to pounce and make an offer.
So, the crucial cards in a prospective trade may be held by a club legend from each team.
Current Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso is remembered for his time at both Liverpool and Real Madrid. It will be intriguing to see which way Bravo would err if both teams made an offer.
In contrast to what might occur at Real Madrid, where Bravo’s potential positional rival, lvaro Rodrguez, has recently broken through making his path to the first team even more difficult, joining a club like Liverpool might grant him more first-team opportunities, especially with the departure of Roberto Firmino.
But a lot would also depend on whether or not he was given a work permit at Anfield. Bravo only has one Bundesliga game under his belt in the post-Brexit era, therefore Liverpool would need to rely on a special panel hearing or loan him out first. Bravo does not match the fifteen-point requirement.
For example, Liverpool rushed the Stefan Bajeti from Celta Vigo deal through before the Brexit laws changed since future additions of similar caliber would be at best extremely difficult.
A potential move is made more challenging by both of those elements. However, Bravo is a player to keep an eye on, and if Liverpool is successful in acquiring him, which is more likely to happen later, it may be a chance for the club to exact rҽvҽnge on Real Madrid for both the 5-2 loss at Anfield and all the players the Spanish giants have stolen from Merseyside over the years.