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 of already inflated sums. Bruno Guimaraes may just be different.
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 is 22-year-old Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes. Currently playing in the Série A top flight for Athletico Paranaense, he might be swapping the warmth of southern Brazil for the chill of a 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 in the base of midfield, breaking up play. In our video provided (below), he displays his ability to distribute the ball, with strong vertical passes and switches of play. This allows Bruno to start counter-attacks with a devastating pace.
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 unleash his forwards. Almost Pogba-esque.
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. Guimaraes does this with remarkable regularity. However, it’s a risky thing to try in the Premier League, especially at the frequency that he attempts tricks or escapes pressing traps.
The 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 wholely clean strike or great heading ability. This limits his ability in the final third.
Yet, it’s his defensive skills that have made him a target for top clubs. He is an outstanding ball-winner in midfield. Whether he is succesful in one on one challenges or intercepting passes, Guimaraes 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 physical presence 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 pitch of a top flight European side soon.
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