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Is Bruno Guimarães enough to save Newcastle from the drop?

Newcastle wasted no time getting down to business in the January transfer window following a £300 million takeover of the club in October.

The Magpies added several new players to their ranks as they hope to avoid relegation from the Premier League this season. The Magpies are among the favourites to go down, with many of the top, safe and trusted sites expecting the northeast giants to exit the premier league as they sit in 19th place in the table with just two wins all season.

Defenders Dan Burn, Keiran Trippier and Matt Targett were among the arrivals, while striker Chris Wood also arrived from relegation rivals Burnley. However, the biggest signing Newcastle made was Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimarães. The 24-year-old arrived from Lyon for around £38 million.

Since joining Lyon from Brazilian side Atlético-PR in 2019, Guimarães has earned a reputation as a hard-working, yet technical defensive midfielder. He was a stalwart for two seasons at Lyon and he could play a leading role as Newcastle try to fight against relegation in the 2021/22 season.

Can Bruno Guimarães be Newcastle’s relegation saviour?

There is no doubt that Newcastle needed to add more quality to the spine of their team in the transfer window. Eddie Howe’s side has conceded the second-highest number of goals in the Premier League this season (43 in 21 matches).

The North East side have been on the wrong side of some big results this season. So far, they have lost 4-2 to West Ham, 4-1 at Man United and 4-0 against Leicester and Man City. With just Isaac Hayden and the converted striker Joelinton, filling in at defensive midfield, it is no surprise Newcastle targeted Guimarães to fill this gap.

Through Guimarães, the Magpies are likely to get better ball retention to link defence and attack. The Brazilian had the best pass success percentage compared to any of the first team starters at Lyon (88%).

But, Guimarães’ ability to break up the play and win the ball back will be another important element for Newcastle. For Lyon, Guimarães made more tackles per game than his teammates (2.5), which should suit the physicality of the Premier League.

Will Guimarães be able to hit the ground running at St James’ Park?

Like with any high-profile signing like this, there is an element of risk that it won’t pay off. This is made even riskier when a club is in the depths of a relegation battle with a third of the season to play.

While Guimarães has already proven himself a capable defensive midfielder in Ligue 1 and as someone good enough to break into contention for the Brazil national team, he has not had experience in the Premier League. As a result, there may be some question marks about how quickly the 24-year-old can adapt. He may not even break into the starting XI for his first few appearances.

Newcastle need to rely on all new signings in their relegation battle

By contrast, the likes of Dan Burn have experienced a recent relegation battle with Brighton. The same can also be said for Matt Targett (Aston Villa) and Chris Wood (Burnley) and even Keiran Trippier when he played for Burnley.

The potential difference between these players and Guimarães is that they will be ready to take on their role in the team immediately with little bedding in the time required. For Trippier, who signed early in January, this has already been the case. The England defender has played the full 90 minutes against Watford and Leeds since he arrived at St James’ Park.

However, if Guimarães can get game time early on and adapt to Howe’s preferred style of play, he could become a key player for the Magpies.