Everton are leading the chase for American star midfielder Michael Bradley this summer. The 21-year-old has impressed at the Confederations Cup in South Africa and scored In the USA’s shock 3-0 win over Egypt as well as the incredible 2-0 win over Spain in the semi-finals where he was red carded.
The young midfield star has spent the past season in the German Bundesliga with struggling Borussia Monchengladbach but the club only survived relegation by a point. Bradley was signed last summer from Dutch outfit Heerenveen where he’d enjoyed a very impressive 2007/08 campaign. He scored 15 goals in the Dutch Eredivisie in just 33 League appearances (all starts) from midfield. In fact, only 4 players scored more goals in the Dutch top flight than Bradley that season. This was a remarkable turnaround for the American international who’d failed to score a League goal in his previous 2 seasons in Holland and had only made 7 League starts. At just 21 years of age the U.S star became hot property and ultimately joined his current club.
Last season Bradley scored 5 goals in 28 league appearances (26 starts) for Broussia as the club won just 8 of their 34 league games, losing 19 in total. The American has a reputation for scoring goals in big matches and he obliged with his first goal coming against Bayern Munich in a 2-2 home league draw.
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Bradley was born in Princeton, New Jersey and is the son of current national team coach Bob. The youngster attended the Bradenton Academy for 2 years in Florida which is America’s answer to England’s Lilleshall which trains its U17 national team. At aged 16 the midfielder entered the MLS where he was drafted into the New Jersey Metrostars again unsurprisingly coached by his father. He went on to make 30 League appearances for the club until he became the youngest MLS player ever to be sold when Dutch club Heerenveen signed him for an undisclosed fee.
He made just 1 League appearance in his first season but played in 21 games the next though only started 6. However, the 2007/08 season saw Bradley break the record for most League goals ever scored by an American in European football when he scored 15 goals beating Brian McBride’s 13 goal record for Fulham.
The youngster is a regular international after winning 33 caps and scoring 6 goals for his country. His lack of goals at this level may be due to the fact he plays more of a defensive role in that team. He’s helped the U.S win the 2007 CONCACAF Cup as well as featuring in the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup where the Americans reached the last eight of the tournament. He played a key role in the USA’s run to the final of the Confederations Cup impressing David Moyes with his work-rate and obvious ability. So a link-up with his U.S team-mate Tim Howard is a strong possibility. However, Aston Villa have also shown a firm interest in replacing Gareth Barry with the American.
Bradley looks an interesting proposition for a number of British clubs and at just 21-years-old looks a real prospect. So would you be interested in this youngster joining your club this summer? Would you feel a fee of £6million is good business for a player with a big future ahead of him or do you feel that your club should be targeting proven class to take the clubs to the next level? Let’s hear your views.