Bruno Guimaraes has proved to be a “bargain” for Newcastle United, says Eddie Howe, who admits he cannot believe the club landed the midfielder without spending more.
As the final whistle blew on Newcastle’s thumping 5-1 win over Brentford, television cameras picked out a fan in the crowd holding a scarf bearing the message, “Can we talk about Bruno now?”.
A hugely influential figure during the second half of last season following a £40m move from Lyon, the 24-year-old proved decisive once more in a 5-1 win, scoring the opener before taking the game away from Brentford with a wonderfully individual goal minutes after Ivan Toney’s penalty.
Guimaraes’ brace takes him up to seven goals and two assists in 24 appearances for the club, while his impact runs much deeper than merely those direct goal contributions.
What did Eddie Howe say of Bruno Guimaraes?
Speaking to the Press Association after the game, Howe said: “I find it difficult with that number, but I would say that he’s a bargain in today’s current climate.
“He’s absolutely a bargain because he’s had a huge effect on the team and the club. In today’s market, that is a relatively modest sum – which I can’t really believe I’m saying – but it is.
“It’s an amazing thing for us to have him, it’s not just the player, it’s the person as well. I can’t say how good a person he is.
“He’s a pleasure to coach and be around. He’s a really positive person, an energiser and someone I love to coach and be with. I think everyone here connected with the club – me, the players, the supporters – absolutely love him.”
He’s is on another level – can we talk about Bruno now?
Guimaraes has been in superb form for Howe’s team, with two goals against Brentford following an assist against Fulham last time out.
Since making his Premier League debut in February, he has scored seven Premier League goals, more than any other Newcastle player.
Martin Keown told Final Score after the Brentford hammering: “We talk about top signings and Bruno is on another level. He really is a top midfield player.
“He breaks from midfield and just tucks it into the corner. He gives everything to the team and those fans absolutely love him.”
Guimaraes is a player whose importance to Newcastle becomes more evident when he isn’t there.
When he was absent with a hamstring injury, Newcastle failed to win games against Wolves, Liverpool and Crystal Palace. They have won two out of three and scored 10 goals since he returned.
Newcastle are building a team to play in Europe, fulfilling the long-term ambitions of the owners who took over 366 days before they beat Brentford. Guimaraes will surely be a key part in that.