Eventful start to life back in Holland for Bruno Martins Indi



Bruno Martins Indi has had a whirlwind few days since joining AZ Alkmaar on a long-term loan from Stoke City.

The 28-year-old centre-back sealed a deadline day move back to the Netherlands and immediately made a good impression on coach Arne Slot, having obviously done the ground work at Clayton Wood over the previous few weeks.

Slot told Algemeen Dagblad: “Bruno is fit, even fitter than (new clubmates) Pantelis Hatzidiakos and Timo Letschert, for example, because Bruno has participated in a lot of preparation at his club Stoke.

“He then reached a very high level during training. He is also a player who helps others, he feels that responsibility.”

But AZ then had nine positive cases of Covid-19; three staff, four senior players and two youth teamers.

So Martins Indi was thrown straight in for his debut against VVV-Venlo – a centre-half in a 4-4-2 – and his side went 2-0 up.

But then he conceded an 88th minute penalty for shirt pulling as VVV fought back to draw, having only made it 2-1 with four minutes remaining. AZ have now drawn all four of their league games, scoring and conceding 10.

Martins Indi told De Telegraaf: “Football is a contact sport and you have to make contact. It was just a duel where he started holding it. But okay, he gets it. Good for him, silly for me. But did the VAR also watch it?”

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He added: “I felt a bit of resignation and I could not explain that. It is clear that the previous matches have not been good for self-confidence. The start of the competition is not what we had hoped for.”

Now Martins Indi and AZ face a trip to Italy on Thursday for a Europa League group game against Napoli (5.55pm).





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