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Why Manchester City must sign Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes this summer



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Following on from yet another successful season, Manchester City will soon look to evolve their squad as they strengthen their unyielding grip on English football.

With the summer transfer window fast approaching it remains to be seen precisely how the Premier League champions will attempt to refine their squad.

However, due to the anticipated departure of Kalvin Phillips, along with the unfortunate possibility of Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne leaving the club, it is conceivable that the reigning champions may elect to bolster their midfield ranks owing to potential departures.

Having earned a historic fourth successive Premier League title last term, City’s current squad is naturally stocked with a range of renowned top-class talent and consequently, there are a finite number of ideal candidates who could realistically join the club, quickly acclimatise, and improve the squad.

Whilst there are few players in this regard, there are fewer players who are potentially available this summer. But there is a certain Premier League star who is seemingly a perfect option, and he may even be attainable in the coming months: Bruno Guimaraes.

Before his Premier League arrival in January 2022, Guimaraes had previously established a reputation as one the most exciting and promising young players active in Europe, partly courtesy of his impressive exploits throughout Lyon’s 2019/20 Champions League campaign during which the French outfit (ironically) defeated Manchester City en route to the semi-finals.

The following term, Guimaraes further improved his game in Ligue 1 and just over 18 months after impressing in Europe’s elite competition, his technical prowess and evident development persuaded the Magpies to part with a reported figure of £35 million to secure the services of the Brazil international – a fee which in hindsight, appears to be somewhat of a bargain.

Upon arriving in England, Guimaraes quickly established himself as one of the most gifted and hardworking midfielders in the Premier League – a trait that has not gone unnoticed by Pep Guardiola, who in March of this year lauded the 26-year-old as “exceptional” and a “complete holding midfielder.”

Interestingly, Guimaraes has also previously expressed admiration for City’s Catalan coach, with the Brazilian having referred to Guardiola as a “genius”, and “the best coach in history.”

Owing to the public mutual respect between Guimaraes and Guardiola, it is reasonable to ascertain that both men would be enthralled by the opportunity to work together, and perhaps, they soon will.

Whilst it is seemingly apparent that Bruno Guimaraes would be more than open to playing for Guardiola, whether or not the Brazilian would be an adequate fit for Manchester City side is another matter, however, the stats suggest that he would be an excellent signing for the Premier League champions.

First and foremost, the primary statistic to examine when investigating whether a midfielder would be able to play a key role in the current City side is their passing prowess, and the data indicates that Guimaraes’ ability to play the ball is more than sufficient to be a smart addition to the Champion’s squad.

For instance, last term, Guimaraes registered a successful pass accuracy percentage of 85% – higher than the likes of Kevin De Bruyne (84%) and Cole Palmer (83%), and when taking into consideration that Guimaraes recorded these statistics for an inconsistent side that somehow finished below Chelsea last term, it is conceivable to ascertain that Guimaraes would be more than capable of enhancing his ball retention output should the Brazilian find himself in east Manchester next season.

Whilst Guimaraes’ adept ball-playing ability is obvious to those who have regularly watched his performances in recent years, it is also valid to take into account the willingness of the Brazilian to involve himself within his current side’s build-up play, and the sheer volume of passes evidences this as last season Guimaraes registered the 4th most successful passes across the division (1923) behind only Rodri, Pascal Gross and Declan Rice.

Furthermore, Guimaraes is also adept at producing accurate passes under pressure in attacking phases as the Brazil international ranked 12th amongst Premier League players for successful passes (1032) in the opposition half last term – whilst also recording a pass success rate in the opposition half of 78% – superior to the likes of Kai Havertz and James Maddison (both 77%).

Moreover, it is relevant to acknowledge that last term, Guimaraes operated in a side that mustered a good but not outstanding average of 52.2% possession per game, a far cry from City’s league-high 65.2%. Logic therefore dictates that if Guimaraes were to find himself within a more highly tuned possession-focused system, then the stats that he averaged last term would see a marked improvement should he join this summer.

Whilst it is evident that Guimaraes is comfortable in possession in both halves of the pitch, other factors that scouts will be investigating are his defensive capabilities and off-the-ball work, and once again, the stats also indicate that the Brazil international is exceptional in this regard.

For instance, last season only six Premier League midfielders registered more successful tackles than Guimaraes (54), ahead of the likes of Declan Rice and Yves Bissouma (both 52). Furthermore, Guimaraes also led the league in possession recoveries last term (236) – ahead of the likes of Rodri (235) and William Saliba (213), thus evidencing his defensive prowess.

Renowned for his high-intensity style, the 26-year-old’s energetic performances have led to him becoming a popular figure amongst the Newcastle faithful, yet whilst his work-rate is evident to the eye.

The fact that Guimaraes covered an astonishing 423.09km across his 37 Premier League appearances last season – the highest amongst all Premier League players, certainly evidences that he is one of the hardest-working players plying their trade in the Premier League.

Along with his industrious approach to midfield play and proficiency in both the possession and defensive aspects of the game, Guimaraes has also displayed an ability to both create and score goals despite often operating in a somewhat deep position.

For instance, last season Guimaraes recorded a decent return of seven non-penalty goals – more than the likes of Martin Odegaard, whilst the Brazil star also notched a respectable eight assists – as many as fellow premier league midfielders Phil Foden and Bruno Fernandes.

Capable of operating effectively in both a holding role and as a dynamic box-to-box midfielder, Guimaraes can defend, retain possession, create opportunities, and finish chances, he is the quintessential complete midfielder for the modern game and at just 26 years old, the best is surely yet to come.

And owing to Guimaraes’ adeptness at operating within numerous midfield roles, it is conceivable that he would be able to effectively partner Rodri whilst also perhaps deputising to the Spaniard in a holding role when necessary.

Should Manchester City find themselves in need of a midfielder this summer then there are few (if any) players better suited to the Champions’ style of play, and should this be the case, signing Bruno Guimaraes is simply, a no-brainer.