Bruno Guimaraes 'targeted' by Premier League clubs - claims Newcastle United boss
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The Brazilian scored twice in a 3-2 win at the City Ground having only scored once all season prior to the match. Guimaraes was played in a more advanced midfield role as he volleyed the ball in from Kieran Trippier's cross before scoring the winner with a well-taken finish from outside the box in the second half.
The win saw Newcastle move up to seventh in the Premier League table with 14 games remaining. The campaign as a whole has been considerably more difficult for Eddie Howe and his players compared to last season where they finished fourth and reached the Carabao Cup final.
And Howe believes Guimaraes' qualities and importance to Newcastle make him a target for opposing teams.
"I think, like all players this season, he’s had moments where he’s been the difference maker for us and there have been moments when games have been more difficult," Howe admitted. "He’s definitely targeted by teams now to stop him, and that is in part why we moved him and tried something different.
"He’s got real quality but underneath it all he is a humble lovely person as well and those two things, the player and the person, makes him a special man for us."
Next up for Newcastle is AFC Bournemouth at St James' Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off). Guimaraes is set to start in the match despite battling illness last week.
But the Brazilian is walking a disciplinary tightrope and is just one yellow card away from a two-match ban in the Premier League.