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Who Is Arsenal Target Bruno Guimaraes – Scout Report


As Arsenal continue to build for Mikel Arteta’s new dawn at the Emirates, January provides itself as a perfect time to bring in new players in preparation for next season’s campaign. One player Arsenal have been strongly linked with is Brazilian Bruno Guimarães. Guimarães is a 22-year-old defensive left-sided central midfielder currently playing for Brazilian side Club Athletico Paranaense.

This report will aim to analyse Guimarães’ playing style, his season so far for Club Athletico Paranaense and how he could line up for Arsenal.

Overview/playing style

Bruno is very much built in the modern model for a defensive midfielder. He is both tenacious and robust in the tackle, whilst progressive and composed in possession. More often than not his manager, Dorival Junior, has opted to play him as a left-sided defensive midfield in a 4-2-3-1 system, however, he can comfortably play slightly further in a 4-1-4-1 or 4-4-1-1 formation. Playing on the left side of midfield, the right footer often looks to play interior passes or big switches of play. On average, Bruno plays 55 short passes per 90 minutes with a  95% accuracy. He is often seen as the engine in the side, constantly demanding and passing the ball. Bruno is also very capable at playing long passes as well. Per 90 minutes, he plays 3.32 long passes, with a 93% accuracy. 73% of these long passes are horizontal from left to right.

What would Bruno Guimarães bring to Arsenal - Scout Report

The image above shows Guimarães playing a perfect switch of play into the path of his teammate.

 In Depth Defensive

Bruno’s reading of the game is excellent and this can be shown by his 3.77 interceptions per 90 minutes. Of his total 235 interceptions this season, 48% have been passes which he has cut and 16% have been ball possession losses. For a manager like Mikel Arteta, who wants to play positional football, having midfielders who can read the game and cut the pass in defence and then progress the ball, is vital. He also doesn’t mind making strong tackles, however, out of the 194 defensive duels against opposition midfielders this season, Guimarães has only won 19%. In total, Guimarães has won 22% of his 486 total defensive duels this season, compared to Torreira who has won 53% of his 78 defensive duels, in 2151 fewer minutes. In 1v1 duels, Guimarães averages 2.94 duels per 90minutes which is more than Torreira’s 1.2, however Guimarães has played more minutes.

What would Bruno Guimarães bring to Arsenal - Scout Report

This image shows Guimarães intercepting a pass with a slide tackle before showing the strength and desire to mop up the loose ball against an opponent.

Progressive Passing

 Guimarães primarily plays a progressive defensive role. This means that he aims to regain possession before moving the ball up through the team. This season 56% of Guimarães 3421 total passes have been forward, with a 93% accuracy. Furthermore, 1854 (54%) of Guimarães total passes have come in the opposition half, showing he is comfortable venturing forward. Guimarães is also very adept at playing smart passes through midfield. A smart pass is a pass played with the purpose of being creative. That may mean that it cuts through the lines or negates or 3 opposition players with one pass. Per 90, Guimarães will play 1.51 smart passes per game. Of his 94 this season, Guimarães has a success rate of 54%. Because Guimarães plays somewhat deeper and further away from the opposition goal, he doesn’t tend to rack up too many key passes and on average gets 0.43 per game.

What would Bruno Guimarães bring to Arsenal - Scout Report

This image shows the positions which Guimarães tends to play his smart progressive passes from. He tends to do his best work form inside the oppositions half, fitting that deep-lying playmaker model.



 Guimarães is a very composed dribbler of the ball. Per 90minutes, he attempts 2.45 dribbles with a 76% success rate. Of his 153 attempted dribbles this season, 56% have come against opposition midfielders, yielding a 74% success rate. It is notable that 55% of his dribbles come in the opposition half. This suggests when it comes to breaking medium or low blocks, that Guimarães is very adept at taking his man on and beating him. This could be a very useful weapon for Arsenal. If Arteta is able to instil his supposed possession-based philosophy, then teams will more often than not set up a low block defence in reaction. A player who can dribble and beat his man can be vital in creating a yard of space for his teammate.


What would Bruno Guimarães bring to Arsenal - Scout Report

This image shows Guimarães receive the ball and beat the first player and then the second player with three touches. He then precedes to play a smart pass through the lines to a teammate.


Positional football

 A major part of Mikel Arteta’s philosophy is his positional football. Positional football relies on a players intelligence to pick-up the correct zones and areas of the pitch in relation to where the ball is. The image below shows the territorial coverage of Guimarães this season. It shows that down that left side, he is very capable and comfortable at picking up almost any area of the pitch.

What would Bruno Guimarães bring to Arsenal - Scout Report

The image shows the territorial coverage of Guimarães this season and a pie chart depicting the share of his work. As you can see, 73% of his game is spent passing the ball across the pitch. Only 16% is spent defending.



 Other than Guimarães slight tackling weakness, aerial duels is where Guimarães can be really exposed. Standing at 5ft 11in (182cm), Guimarães has significant struggles in the air. In particular against players who are 180-185 cm and 185-190cm’s tall. He has lost 43% and 71% of these duels respectively. Interestingly, Guimarães has also lost 67% of aerial duels against players who are shorter than 170cm’s and 57% against players who are 170-175 cm’s tall. In total, Guimarães has lost 54% of his 96 aerial duels this season. If he were to line up next Torreira who, himself is not the tallest, then this could be an exploitable area for opponents. Torreira has a similarly poor aerial ability with a 15% success rate out of 19 duels this season. This is something Arsenal should look to work on should they sign him.



In conclusion, I believe that Guimarães would be a great fit for Arsenal. He has the characteristics to be the engine of the side who consistently keeps the team ticking and moving. Guimarães could thrive under Arteta’s positional football. He is a player who has a great understanding of football. He knows what positions he needs to take up in order to help the ball circulate. I think having someone like Torreira who loves to tackle and win the ball, but isn’t the greatest on the ball, could help Guimarães and form a strong partnership.  I think Arsenal bringing Guimarães in now would be ideal. He has already played 40  matches this season so using him sporadically would allow for cover for the first team, him to rest and learn about the demands and wants of Mikel Arteta, all in preparation for a fresh campaign next season.

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