Unsurprisingly, Newcastle United had been one of many main spenders within the January switch window. Somewhat than splurging recklessly, they focused gamers with Premier League expertise who might instantly assimilate into the squad and support of their relegation battle.
The one participant who broke that development is arguably among the finest younger gamers in his place in Europe. Bruno Guimarães, who arrives in Newcastle from Lyon for simply 40 million kilos, is arguably the very best signing of the January switch window and might be on the base of the Magpies’ midfield for years to come back.
Beneath former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund head coach Peter Bosz, Lyon primarily play a possession-based 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-3. Usually taking part in in a double pivot alongside the energetic Maxence Caqueret, Guimarães is the crew’s major progressor of the ball and transitions the aspect from protection to assault. He can do that each instantly after profitable again the ball to launch Lyon’s attackers on the counter or by transferring it by way of the thirds while the French aspect are controlling possession.
The vary of conditions and methods Guimarães can progress the ball are what make him such a potent weapon. He ranks above the ninety fifth percentile in comparison with different central midfielders in Europe for passes below strain, progressive carries, progressive passes, passes into the ultimate third, and shot-creating actions into the ultimate third. In different phrases, in nearly any metric you should use to judge a participant’s distribution, Guimarães ranks in elite firm.
It’s price noting that Guimarães received’t put up related numbers at Newcastle since they’re much less dominant and have much less high quality relative to the remainder of the league when in comparison with Lyon. But the core skillset Guimarães possesses will likely be an especially welcome asset to Newcastle in virtually all phases of play.
He can take the ball off the center-backs to maneuver it ahead to superior central midfielders or a striker dropping off. Whereas he can spray the ball vast with change passes, he prefers to maneuver the ball by way of the strains centrally as an alternative at any time when attainable. As Eddie Howe will encourage his wingers to chop inside extra and his midfielders to push increased, this must be a helpful trait.
Larger up the pitch, when taking part in towards a deeper block, Guimarães exhibits great dexterity and creativity in his passing. He’s adept at discovering teammates with lofted chip balls or fast, zipping by way of balls alongside the bottom.
— Bruno Guimarães (@brunoog97) February 7, 2022
Maybe much more importantly, he has understanding of when to flow into the ball and when to attempt to penetrate the opposition strains. With Newcastle leaking a number of targets in transition, this consciousness that Guimarães will support the Magpies midfield in not freely giving low-cost lose balls and enabling the opposition to counter-attack.
Defensively, Guimarães information a excessive quantity of tackles and interceptions and is an lively, aggressive presence. He’s an adept ball-winner and is intent on attempting to push the crew forwards as quickly as possession is received again. Nevertheless, a part of the explanation that he’s thrived in a midfield double pivot alongside Caqueret is that he has one other participant to assist him display screen the protection.
Attributable to his front-foot fashion, he can go away gaps in entrance of the again line and his studying of the sport, whereas robust, isn’t essentially on the similar degree as his different attributes. Nonetheless, his defensive recreation remains to be a significant enchancment on the Magpies present choices.
What makes Guimarães such a decisive signing is that he improves Newcastle in each part of play. Their build-up play, likelihood creation, transitions, and defensive safety will all enhance resulting from his sheer high quality relative to their current midfield choices.
His vary of traits may complement completely different Newcastle midfielders in differing methods, comparable to offering extra defensive safety to the deep-lying artistic presence of Jonjoe Shelvey or including extra ball development to the the vitality and dynamism of Joe Willock. Sooner or later, he can complement different midfield targets properly.
Eddie Howe has secured a participant who might be a key cog in his midfield for seasons to come back and match Newcastle’s ambitions of being a high 4 aspect. Whereas different January signings could make a extra fast and visual impression, it’s laborious to search out any participant who could make such a holistic and probably long-lasting impression on their crew as Bruno Guimarães.
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