The January transfer doesn’t often see many big moves completed by top European clubs anymore. They prefer to do large transfers in the summer window, where they don’t have to pay that premium on top. January has been used as a chance to bring in extra depth or sign a promising young talent. One player who fits in the latter category is 22 year old Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes. Currently playing in Brazil’s top flight for Athletico Paranaense, he might be swapping the warmth of southern Brazil for the chill of an European winter. The midfielder has been linked to both Chelsea and Arsenal as well as Atletico Madrid.
The Rio de Janeiro born talent has played for Athletico since 2017, picking up the 2018 Copa Sudamericana and 2019 Copa do Brasil in the process. He’s made 84 appearances for the Curitiba based side, scoring 7 goals and dishing out 5 assists. Here’s our profile on the in-demand South American midfielder:
Bruno Guimaraes – Style of Play
Guimaraes plays as a more defensive midfielder for Athletico, sitting at the base of midfield, breaking up play, and starting counter attacks. In the video, he displays his ability to distribute the ball, with strong vertical passes and switches of play.
The Audax youth product tends to stay very central on the field, only going wide when his defensive duties demands it. This helps Guimaraes and his team dominate the centre of midfield and buys him time to hit long balls that spring his forwards in almost Pogba-esque fashion.
Like seemingly all Brazilians, he has excellent dribbling and ball control skills, which allow him to draw in multiple defenders, before slipping a pass to an open teammate. This isn’t a one off either, he does this with remarkable regularity, as shown in the video. The Brazilian U23 international’s passing and vision are the strong points of his offensive game. Despite making timely runs from deep when presented to him, he isn’t much of a goal scorer. He doesn’t have a great shot or much heading ability, which limits his ability in the final third.
While Guimaraes’ offensive skills are impressive, if not quite well rounded. Yet, it’s his defensive skills that have made him a target for top clubs. He is an outstanding ball winner in midfield. Whether it is winning one on one challenges or intercepting passes, the midfielder does seemingly everything on the defensive side of the ball.
He tracks back well, has excellent defensive positioning, and gets his side on the offensive quickly after winning the ball. Fast transition is essential in Europe, especially the Premier League. It’s always telling of what a players true talent is when the highlight videos are essentially ten minutes of breaking up play and then hitting passes to get his team moving again. Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi and Barcelona’s Arthur Melo immediately come to mind as comparison.
Where should he move to?
Bruno Guimaraes certainly has the defensive skills to make it in a top European league. He can truly command a midfield from the holding role. His lack of heading ability might delay his adjustment, especially if he were to move to an English side. The Brazilian may also initially struggle with the increased speed of the European game. Especially with his somewhat languid style of play on the ball. A move to Spain might be more ideal, at least initially, than making the jump to the Premier League.
Overall, he is an excellent defensive midfielder with good offensive instincts and very coachable weaknesses. I’m sure we will see him patrolling the midfield of a top flight European side soon.
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