There isn’t just one Bruno whose transfer talk is doing the rounds in recent days. While Bruno Fernandes may be edging closer to a move Manchester United, Arsenal seem to be pursuing the signature of a certain Bruno Guimaraes. A midfielder for Brazilian side Athletico Paranaense, Guimaraes is someone the Gunners seem to be really pushing for.
The 22-year-old is also a subject of an offer from Portuguese giants Benfica, but the same report also goes onto say that the interest from Arsenal is also concrete. A central midfielder by trade, Guimaraes can play deeper in that part of the pitch too. But Arsenal sporting director Edu and his base in Brazil can certainly help the club seal the deal.
Guimaraes isn’t a prolific goalscorer by any means. The midfielder got two goals and a single assist in the previous season of the Brazilian league, playing twice in the Copa Libertadores. In the Brazilian Cup, he got eight appearances and got one goal for the side.
But he is very much a complete midfielder. He isn’t the most prolific, creator, goalscorer or the fiercest tackler in midfield. He does a bit of everything and does all of them well.
This past season, he won 1.5 tackles per game for the club. He got 1.1 interceptions per game too. Guimaraes got dribbled past 1.3 times per game- a sign that he isn’t the most prolific ball-winner in midfield.
When it comes to attacking abilities, he had a tally of 1.8 key passes per game. He took 1.5 shots per game, completing just as many dribbles too. But his ability on the ball comes to the fore by how he played 64.8 passes per game with an impressive accuracy of 88.4 percent. More so, the 22-year-old got a tally of 5.5 long-balls per game.
He may not be an attacking midfielder, but his traits show that he is good at keeping play ticking and building up attacks. He can come up with odd goals and help the team win games.
As for Arsenal, their link from midfield to attack is currently Matteo Guendozi. The Frenchman likes to get on the ball, win it and often drive it forward. He isn’t the best in any of the aspects, but he brings a lot of thrust in the heart of the park.
Granit Xhaka’s future is in doubt, with rumours linking him with a Hertha Berlin switch. Lucas Torreira meanwhile, has settled into the anchorman role under Mikel Arteta. Mesut Ozil has become a regular part of the side in the number ten spot, with Dani Ceballos returning to fitness recently.
But it is important to remember that Ceballos does go back to Real Madrid at the end of the season. That will leave a spot in a more creative role in midfield open. The club does have Joe Willock rising up the ranks and he will stake claim to Ceballos’ open spot too.
Guimaraes fits in perfectly to that position. Like Ceballos, he isn’t exactly an out-and-out playmaker. And like him, he isn’t a deeper midfielder too. He would float between the attacking midfielder and the deepest midfielder, allowing possession to flow through him.
At 22, Guimaraes presents a rather favourable move. Coming from Brazil at a young age, he will need time. But he will have enough of it to make use of and make an impact as he continues to settle in. The fee in question- £21 million, will not be a huge one too. It presents a potential profit in the future.