Adrian Clarke looks at January signings who can have a big impact for their clubs over the rest of the season.
Newcastle United’s latest signing Guimaraes is a central midfielder who can provide quality both in and out of possession.
During two impressive years in French football with Lyon the 24-year-old was known for his tremendous assurance on the ball.
Guimaraes consistently makes good decisions with his distribution, and has neat footwork in tight areas that helps him drift past opposition midfielders.
Newcastle have recruited a player who can provide them with significantly more in-game control.
Guimaraes is accustomed to seeing plenty of the ball, making 76.15 passes per 90 minutes for Lyon in Ligue 1 this term.
He will need to adjust to having less of the ball at Newcastle, who have averaged a share of just 38 per cent possession prior to his arrival.
Guimaraes is very accurate with his passing, boasting an 87.8 per cent success rate with his former club.
What separates Guimaraes from many other excellent ball-playing central midfielders is the way he carries the ball towards the opposition goal.
He is ranked in the 98th percentile for midfielders when it comes to progressive passes and ball carries.
His ability to break the lines using a piece of skill before accelerating attacks with a burst of speed might be the catalyst Newcastle need to create more chances.
|Angel Di Maria||2.07|
During the first half of this season Guimaraes delivered three league assists for Lyon, but Opta have his xA (Expected Assists) at 0.23 per 90 minutes, around double that tally.
The only four Ligue 1 stars ahead of him for chances created per 90 minutes this season are Neymar, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Dimitri Payet, so his pedigree is high.
Joining a Newcastle side ranked 17th in the Premier League for chances created in open play, the Guimaraes’s record suggests he will instantly improve their goal threat.
Head coach Eddie Howe has brought him in to improve the quality of service to forwards Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson.
When those two danger men receive early passes before defenders have set their positions, it increases their prospects of delivering goals.
Guimaraes is also mobile and aggressive enough to help Newcastle regain possession more frequently inside the middle third.
He works hard, is a good presser and likes to throw himself into tackles, on average 3.75 per 90 minutes.
The Magpies have signed a classy and rounded central midfielder who is entering what should be the peak years of his career.
With a variety of strengths and no obvious weaknesses, Guimaraes is a polished addition to their ranks.
Part 1: Coutinho magic gives Villa extra threat
Part 3: Weghorst a perfect fit to lead Burnley revival
Part 4: Diaz can be Liverpool's latest world-class winger