By Damian Spellman, PA
Bruno Guimaraes will return to the scene of his spectacular first start for Newcastle with head coach Eddie Howe tipping him to make a big impact with Brazil at the World Cup.
Guimaraes, a £35million January signing from Lyon, has made a huge impact since his arrival at St James’ Park, where he was watched by national-team boss Tite in last weekend’s 4-0 Premier League victory over Aston Villa.
The 24-year-old is yet to establish himself in Tite’s team, but is making a compelling case for himself in English football.
Asked if he could do well in Qatar, Howe said: “Well I think it’s the perfect stage for him – I think he can.
“I’m not in charge of team selection and everything like that, I just hope he gets the chance to show the world how good he is.”
If the world is yet to fully discover Guimaraes’ talent, English football is getting to know him rapidly, and it was at St Mary’s in March that he began that process in earnest.
Having been eased into the team by Howe in a series of cameo appearances from the bench, he was handed a full debut on the south coast and after Chris Wood had cancelled out Stuart Armstrong’s opener, snatched the points with an audacious back-heeled winner.
Howe said: “It’s funny because you look back to that game and it was a pivotal game for Bruno and a pivotal game for us. We went behind in the match, Chris Wood scored a really good goal and then Bruno scored his goal.
“It was a strange one because at the time, I just saw the ball go in and I didn’t really think about how it went in. It was only afterwards when you review the goal and you go ‘wow, that’s an incredible finish’.
“And it was the start of Bruno’s journey, really, in displaying how good a player he really is. There was no doubt for me he was going to do that, but it was just a case of when.
“And then he started scoring goals, which is something we didn’t necessarily predict, and he’s influenced us at all ends of the pitch. He’s all-action – he’s played really well from deep, he’s played really well higher up as well.
“He’s been outstanding for us and I hope there’s a lot more to come, but certainly he looks happy at the moment.”