Football News

Bruno Guimaraes will have no trouble fitting in at Arsenal, says Emmanuel Petit

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:00, 24 April 2024

Emmanuel Petit has no worries about Bruno Guimaraes settling in at Arsenal if he was to join the Premier League leaders this summer.

Mikel Arteta’s men are atop the championship table heading into the final weeks of this season. Following an emphatic 5-0 win over London rivals Chelsea, they opened up a three-point gap. Second-place Liverpool has a game in hand, while Manchester City, in third, is four back while playing two matches fewer.

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Understandably, with the campaign concluding, attention switches to bolstering their squad ahead of a potential title defence. Having finished runners-up in 2022/23, the Gunners strengthened by adding Declan Rice, for a club record fee (£105m), to Arteta’s midfield, which lost Granit Xhaka, and Petit feels Guimaraes brings something different to the table.

“Yeah, in terms of keeping the ball, position, technique, this is something very important for what I’ve said before, when you are tired on a pitch keeping the ball is integral, and I thought Arsenal did it brilliantly on Saturday,” he told

“This is where I think you can see this team has improved a lot from last season. At the highest level when you’re tired physically and you’re tired mentally, you need to be better than your opponents, in terms of technique, keeping the ball, how you give passes and receive the ball. For me, Guimaraes is very good with the ball which would be very important if he comes to Arsenal. I have no worries about him settling in at Arsenal either.”

Since joining Newcastle from Olympique Lyon in 2021, the Brazilian has been a revelation at St James’ Park. Arsenal’s reported interest is logical, considering he’s a different midfielder profile, which they lack. Arteta predominantly utilises two sixes and one ten, as showcased in their Chelsea rout with Thomas Partey, Rice and Martin Odegaard forming their midfield triumvirate. Guimaraes is very much an eight-someone who can play between Rice and Odegaard in a hypothetical middle third.

“I think I can play No 6, 8, 10…” he recently told Sky Sports. “The gaffer gave me freedom.”

To his credit, Eddie Howe has done well unleashing Guimaraes’ potential despite often being restricted. “Absolutely no doubt Bruno can play as a No 8 and do well,” he said. But then we need to find a solution for the No. 6, and that needs to work for the team. So I’m always stuck in that situation where I’m trying to work out what is best for the team, not the individual.”

As touched upon, this wouldn’t be an issue at the Emirates Stadium, with Rice performing the number six role. In turn, Arteta could then deploy the classic ‘number six and eight’ tandem, with Guimaraes winning possession and effectively distributing it, while Rice, likewise, through impeccable tackling or good positional sense.

“When we can get him on the ball higher up the pitch, he has undoubted quality,” Howe added.

Guimaraes once described himself as a “piano carrier” — someone who does the unseen work — but nevertheless, he always looks to progress play forward rather than just choosing the safest option.

“I am a good passer and I use my intelligence,” he told Globo. “I always like to have the ball with me but I also enjoy robbing it from opponents and going forward.”

It’s no secret that he enjoys getting further up the field, albeit often asked to sit deeper. Unsurprisingly, when calculating shots and chances created (86), he’s right up there for Newcastle, with only Anthony Gordon (112) ahead.