Eddie Howe drops Bruno Guimaraes hint at Newcastle United

Bruno Guimaraes is ready to start his first Newcastle United game – a week after flying into the country.

That’s the view of Eddie Howe ahead of Sunday’s Premier League home game against Aston Villa.

Guimaraes, signed from Olympique Lyonnais on transfer deadline day for £35million plus add-ons, came off the bench late in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Everton at St James’s Park. Howe was asked whether Guimaraes was not ready to start a game at today’s press conference.

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“I think he’s ready to play, he’s fit to play,” said United’s head coach. “He’s certainly shown all the technical qualities that we loved about him in training already.

"But it’s a case of managing the group from my side, and making sure I make the right selections. Each game is very different.”

There had been calls for Guimaraes, 24, to start the Everton game, but Howe was reluctant to change a winning team following last month’s 1-0 win over Leeds United at Elland Road.

And Howe was happy with the “balance” of his midfield against Frank Lampard’s side, suggesting the Brazil international will have to wait for his first start.

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"The midfield balance the other day against Everton was really good with Joelinton, Joe Willock and Jonjo (Shelvey) in there,” said Howe. “The three players did really well. Bruno will play a lot of games for this club, I’ve got no doubt about that. It’s great to have competition for places.”

Bruno Guimaraes on Newcastle United's bench.Bruno Guimaraes on Newcastle United's bench.
Bruno Guimaraes on Newcastle United's bench.

Howe will have to make one enforced change for the Villa game with loanee Matt Targett unable to play against his parent club.

Dan Burn, an unused substitute against Everton, could make his debut following his £25million deadline day move from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Meanwhile, Newcastle are 17th in the Premier League table, and one point above the relegation zone, following back-to-back victories.

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"Consistency of results is key,” said Howe. “What we can't do is get too high after wins, and get too low after defeats. We've got to be calm and focused on the next match.

"Football can change very quickly. We have to focus and be competitive as we have been."

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