The Brazil international, 24, joined Newcastle from Olympique Lyonnais in the French Ligue 1 after the French club initially denied the reports. After a brief period of adaptation, the Brazilian is now one of the first names on Eddie Howe’s team sheet.
He has been pivotal to their rise back to mid-table places since the turn of the year, following an embarrassing start to the season under Steve Bruce. Newcastle now sit in 10th place after an impressive 2022 where they have outperformed every club in Europe’s top five leagues.
Guimaraes has played 14 games for the Magpies in that period, scoring four and assisting one. He is fast becoming a fan favourite but has admitted that the adaptation was very difficult.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil about his adaptation to life in English football’s top flight and Howe’s influence on his adaptation, the former Flamengo man said: “It was a difficult adaptation, completely different. It is the hardest league in the world, without a doubt.
“The first two weeks were very difficult, but I had confidence in the coach. He talked to me a lot, said he wanted me to understand how the Premier League works, he wanted me to start some games on the bench.
“It was good for my adaptation, even at the beginning without understanding much, because when you arrive, you already want to play anyway. And it was no different for me. He told me I was going to play, he asked me to calm down, he told me to talk to everyone.”
Former Sunderland man Don Hutchison has also heaped praise on Howe for the way he has incorporated the new signings into the side and gotten the team firing on all cylinders again.
Howe was given the job when Newcastle were five points from safety, but his role did not come with much expectations as the club earmarked him to be the manager if they end up getting relegated. The club believed Howe could pull off a promotion the next season following his job at Bournemouth, from where he was let go a few seasons ago.
Now, the Magpies have gone on to win 10 of their last 15 games, 14 of which Guimaraes played and performed excellently in.
Hutchison, a boyhood Newcastle fan, praised Howe while on pundit duty with Premier League Productions. “I put on social media a couple of weeks ago (saying) the job that Eddie Howe has done is remarkable and I got hammered,” he said.
“(People said) ‘Yeah, but he spent £100million ’ What do you expect? He has spent his way out of trouble!’ Try telling that to the Newcastle fans who are watching Joe Willock and (Jacob) Murphy and Jonjo Shelvey, Joelinton and Ryan Fraser – who have all improved under Eddie Howe.
“Kieran Trippier has been injured for a month. (Bruno) Guimaraes didn’t start for five or six games when they bought him. Alright, they spend a bit of money but the upturn in their performances and their character and how good they are all of a sudden… the feel-good factor is back.”