Newcastle’s midfield conductor is making football for him and his teammates look easy
Bruno Guimaraes is rightly getting all the attention on Tyneside.
His near-perfect display against Brentford was just the latest in a long-line of midfield masterclasses from the Brazilian.
‘We’ve got Bruno in the middle’ chant supporters as the 24-year-old orchestrates proceedings.
There are very few superlatives left to throw at him as he continues to star for the Magpies - and even Eddie Howe couldn’t hide his delight at Guimaraes’ display at the weekend.
“No disrespect to anyone I’ve played with, but they can’t compare to Bruno, maybe bar Jermain Defoe, who was incredible in his early days. But there’d be no one else like him.
“In terms of coaching, I’ve coached some really good individuals, but he would be right up there.” Howe said.
“He’s an incredible talent and an incredible person. We love him to bits, and we’re enjoying watching him, coaching him and playing a part in his development.”
But it isn’t just his own individual impact that is having the biggest effect on the team.
Guimaraes also has an innate ability to make everyone around him play better and nowhere can that be seen more than in his south american teammates.
Miguel Almiron is possibly the biggest beneficiary of this with the Paraguayan starring for Newcastle throughout pre-season and in the early few months of this campaign.
A quick rewatch of Almiron’s stunning goal against Crystal Palace at the end of last season, and his sublime volley against Fulham, will show that Guimaraes, unsurprisingly, is at the very centre of both moves with perfectly weighted passes that give Almiron the opportunity to strike.
To see Almiron in such form is a wonderful sight and is just rewards for someone who has been a fan favourite ever since he joined the club over three years ago and to have Guimaraes pulling the strings behind him, he has all the tools to continue the season in such a manner.
Next to Bruno in midfield is another man that is enjoying a rich vein of form at the club - Joelinton.
Joelinton’s transformation into the player we see now started before Guimaraes came to the club, but playing alongside his countryman is allowing him to maintain this wonderful form.
In Shelvey’s absence this season, Bruno has often played in a slightly deeper role with Joelinton and Joe Willock flanking him and tasked with driving the team forward.
Unsurprisingly, the pair have performed this role very well as the Magpies, for the most part, have controlled games.
Guimaraes’ more advanced position against Fulham and Brentford have helped lift the Brazilian’s game to the next level and as shown by his goals on Saturday, means he is a big threat near the opposition’s goal.
All of these things are hugely important for the way Howe wants his teams to play and central to that is Guimaraes’ ability to control the tempo of a game in the middle of the park.
As a unit, Newcastle are a better side with Guimaraes on the pitch with individuals all performing better in the system because of Bruno in the middle.