Bruno Viana: Braga’s Brazilian Blockade
The transfer window hasn’t officially opened in Italy yet, but Lazio are already showing heavy interest in Braga’s Bruno Viana. The 24-year-old Brazilian started his career progressing through Cruzeiro’s academy and eventually made his debut for the first team in 2015. He then spent a year in Greece before ending up with Braga in Portugal. Bruno Viana was a stalwart at the back for Braga as he played in 32 out of their 34 league matches, missing the last match of the season due to a yellow card suspension. This shows just how vital he is to the Portuguese side that captured a fourth-place league finish.
Bruno Viana is a tall defender, standing at 6’ 2” and his size helps him get in the way of shots, averaging .7 blocks per match. His height also helps him win 2.2 aerial duels per match and makes him a dangerous asset on set-pieces.
Additionally, Braga like to utilize his passing range and he has a lot of responsibility to start attacks. He likes to knock the ball up to one of Braga’s tall strikers as he averages 4.8 long balls per match. He’s rather precise while moving the ball, averaging 85.9% pass accuracy over 56.4 passes per match.
Another of his strengths is his discipline. Bruno Viana played all but two Liga Nos matches this season and received only 5 yellow cards which is astonishing considering Wallace got 3 yellow cards in 16 Serie A appearances.
The Brazilian is not the most aggressive defender relying on his partner, usually Raul, to carry more of the defensive load. Bruno Viana averaged only 2.6 tackles/interceptions per match in Liga Nos this season. If he decides to transition to Serie A this summer, he would have to improve this area in order to be effective.
His other weakness would have to be his experience. He has only had three seasons of European football, one in Greece and two in Portugal, so he has yet to test himself in one of Europe’s top divisions. This could be overcome however as he is still pretty young and he’s soaked up a lot of minutes over these three seasons.
How He Would Fit:
The right-footed defender is usually deployed as the right sided central defender in a back four at Braga, but he has played in the center of a back three at times. Braga would set up as a back three against the bigger Portuguese sides so Bruno Viana does have some experience in a system similar to Inzaghi’s.
He would most likely be used on the right side of the back three with Lazio as Francesco Acerbi is the nailed-on starter in the middle of the three. His ability to progress the ball up the field would be utilized by Inzaghi to either push down the wings or potentially knock it up to the striker instead of always asking Lucas Leiva to start our attacks.
In order for this transfer to be made a reality Wallace almost certainly has to depart the club. Hopefully Brazilian club Flamengo materialize their interest in the defender and allow President Claudio Lotito to bring him to Rome.