‘Not a great athlete’ - Bruno Guimaraes makes mockery of ex-Liverpool star following Newcastle United claim

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Bruno Guimaraes is in with a shout for being Newcastle United’s Player of the Season for 2023-24

National media circles, burdened by Tyneside vitriol over the years, have been desperate to tear Bruno Guimaraes down - despite also being culpable of linking him with moves away. Recent heroics have dispelled lazy myths that the midfielder cannot become an elite operator.

Guimaraes has regularly donned the Superman cape for Newcastle United, putting his teammates on his back when the chips were down. Notable examples include a stunning brace against Nottingham Forest and a late winner at Fulham.

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The Magpies have relied heavily on the Brazilian, who has missed just one game through suspension, throughout the 2023-24 campaign. Data published in January revealed Guimaraes had covered 261.1km this season - the fourth-highest in the Premier League.

Only James Ward-Prowse (224km), Dejan Kulusevski (222.9km) and Declan Rice (221.7km) covered more ground until that point. Those figures made a mockery of former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy, who uttered shortly after that the 26-year-old is “not a great athlete” and needs “legs” around him to perform. 

“That (not being a good athlete) is what will stop him from being one of the best because everything else in his game is superb,” he told talkSPORT. “(He is a) great passer, technically gifted, but he’s not a great athlete. He needs real athletes around him to shine.

“Normally they have got that with Joelinton, Willock and Longstaff. They surround him with amazing legs so you see the best of him. But to be fair to Bruno, his durability in terms of always being available (is impressive). He always turns up. His athleticism is only a problem when he doesn’t have those around him to help him. 

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“He’s still a crucial player for them but, if you’re talking about the best midfielders in the world, that’s what will stop him being classed as one of them.”

Guimaraes is shining without Willock or Joelinton. Yes, he has Longstaff, but many would argue the Brazilian makes him look better - not the other way around.

Newcastle are now flying, and their Brazilian gem is purring, relegating transfer talk to the back of his mind. Europa League is within reach before Guimaraes takes on the Copa America - where he will be given another chance to prove his world-class status.

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