Forget Cristiano Ronaldo or Luis Diaz – the best signing of the season is Bruno Guimaraes.
That’s according to Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson, who has hailed his new Brazilian teammate.
Bruno joined the Magpies in January from Lyon and was the real blockbuster signing from the new owners’ first transfer window in charge.
His fee could rise to £42million, and so far it’s looking like money well spent.
Eddie Howe took his time integrating Bruno into the squad, but now he has established himself as the Magpies’ star attraction and the best midfielder we’ve had since Yohan Cabaye.
The fans absolutely love Bruno and his magic hat, and it appears Wilson is a big fan too.
Wilson explains why Bruno is the signing of the season
The 30-year-old spoke on the latest episode of the Footballer’s Football Podcast. Wilson and co-host Michail Antonio were dishing out their end of the season awards, and the Newcastle striker had to pick his Brazilian pal.
“For me the best new signing, and it cannot even be questioned, is Bruno Guimaraes for Newcastle,” Wilson said.
“Honestly this guy has come in and he’s an absolute baller. He’s an unbelievable talent. He’s come in January in a relegation battle, Brazilian international, £40million – there was a lot of interest from bigger clubs.
“To take the gamble to come to a team that potentially could have been in the Championship next season. His international career could have been on the line. I have to take my hat off to him.
“Next year he’s going to be someone to watch out for, definitely. He’s a talent and he’s still young so he has time on his side. I think he’s settled into the team and into football in England and the Premier League nicely.
“Next year he’ll be balling out for us and hopefully get some assists for me.
“He’s good [in training]. Small areas are where he comes alive. You can tell that he’s Brazilian in a way. He likes to manipulate the ball in tight situations and get himself out. He has an eye for a pass and he’s got a half decent finish on him as well to be fair.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him from external sources and everybody else, but he’s settled in well and I think he’ll have a good Newcastle career.”
Bruno’s gamble is paying off, and Newcastle are reaping the rewards
As Wilson says, it was a real gamble for Bruno to swap Lyon for Newcastle. We were in the relegation zone when he signed on the dotted line.
To do that took real courage, even more so when you remember it’s a World Cup year.
But Bruno’s decision to come to Newcastle has been justified, and he’ll be a Premier League player once again next season.
The Magpies have survived with ease, and the 24-year-old has played a key role in achieving survival.
He wasn’t signed to score goals, but Bruno made a huge contribution in the final third. He netted winners against Southampton and Leicester, two very different goals that both inspired incredible scenes in the stands.
The goal against the Saints was a moment of magic. To score your first goal with a back heel volley is just ridiculous. Then the Leicester goal was simply down to heart and desire. He made up so much ground to get in the box and score a header, handing Newcastle a last-second winner.
Even without the goals, Bruno has been exceptional. He’s an orchestrator in midfield, while he’s also great at breaking up play.
Wilson hasn’t played a lot with Bruno, and will no doubt be looking forward to sharing a pitch with him more next season.
Is Bruno the signing of the season? For Newcastle, absolutely. He’s a transformative player who will hopefully be with the Magpies for a long time.