The major talking point surrounding Newcastle United this week ahead of tomorrow’s League Cup final has been centred on the goalkeeping situation, with Magpies boss Eddie Howe having been dealt an unwanted headache following Nick Pope’s red card in the recent defeat to Liverpool.
While that suspension has somewhat soured the mood heading into Sunday’s clash with Manchester United, one notable positive for the Tynesiders will be the return of influential midfielder, Bruno Guimaraes, with the Brazil international having served his three-game domestic ban in recent weeks.
The former Lyon man – who arrived at St James’ Park on a £40m deal in January 2022 – was dismissed late on the semi-final, second-leg victory over Southampton, subsequently ruling him out of the last three Premier League games.
Thankfully, the 25-year-old will be able to feature against the Red Devils at Wembley, with the northeast side having notably failed to win any of the six games that the ten-cap gem has been absent for this season, with Guimaraes having been ruled out through injury earlier on in the campaign.
That fact has laid bare just how integral the £120k-per-week maestro is to Howe’s side, hence the notable lift that it could give to the club to be able to have the playmaker back in action.
Should Guimaraes play against Man United?
As teammate Kieran Trippier only recently stated, the Rio-born superstar is a truly “massive” asset for Newcastle, with the latter man having shone over the last 12 months or so in the centre of the park.
Despite largely operating in a deep-lying role in front of the back four, Guimaraes has already managed to chip in with nine goals and four assists in 41 games in all competitions for the club to date, while he also ranks in the top 5% among his European peers for successful take-ons.
It is the 6-foot sensation’s defensive prowess that has particularly caught the eye, however, with the “world-class” ace – as described by club colleague Dan Burn – also ranking in the top 10% for tackles made.
That quality was evident when Howe’s men came up against the Old Trafford outfit back in October, with that goalless draw in Manchester seeing the midfield menace win five ground duels and register one key pass, having produced an ‘excellent display‘, in the words of The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder.
Guimaraes will no doubt be looking to dominate Erik ten Hag’s side once again this time around, with the one-time Athletico Paranaense man likely to fancy his chances up against a midfield that has chopped and changed in recent weeks, following the loss of Christian Eriksen to injury.
The Red Devils will likely be fearful of coming up against such a “magnificent” talent – as lauded by club legend Alan Shearer – with the Brazilian potentially set to prove vital to Newcastle’s hopes of glory.