There was a moment in Liverpool’s 2-2 friendly draw with Sporting that highlighted why Bruno Fernandes is a special player.
More than that, it showcased why he’d be ideal for Liverpool – if only they could find room.
Liverpool won the ball back on the halfway line as the clock ticked the final seconds before half-time. At this point, Fernandes was a good 15 yards behind play, inside Liverpool’s half.
But as Liverpool broke, the midfielder tracked back. He chased James Milner all the way to the edge of the box and beyond. And the Liverpool captain passed the ball through to Gini Wijnaldum, Fernandes somehow got there to block the shot.
In all, he covered 50 yards in nine seconds, just to help his team out in defence. In searing heat. With nearly a full half played. In a friendly.
That level of commitment and work rate is effectively what Liverpool’s midfield is built on. What they don’t have, however, is a player who offers that defensive work rate while also chipping in with 25 goals and over a dozen assists – like Fernandes did last season.
There can be little doubt that he’s an ideal Liverpool player – even at his reported £70m price. This one moment in the match showed that Fernandes has the key trait that Liverpool want, after all.
The only real issue is that the Reds are overstocked as it is in the middle – something we’ve mentioned before.
But if Liverpool can find the room, Fernandes would be a player who offers exactly what they like. As they saw up close in New York on Wednesday.