Almost two years ago, a Portuguese-speaking midfielder named Bruno swanned into the Premier League to drag one of the country’s biggest clubs off the seat of their pants and up the table.
And while it may be a tad unfair to expect Bruno Guimaraes to emulate the impact Bruno Fernandes made at Manchester United, Lyon’s Olympic gold medallist possesses plenty of attributes Arsenal appear to lack.
The Brazilian playmaker was outstanding – not for the first time – as the Ligue 1 side put their off-the-pitch problems to one side with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Strasbourg at the weekend.
A blend of tenacity and technique, poise and purpose, Guimaraes not only set the tempo and controlled the game with some terrific, line-breaking passes, he also dragged Lyon up the pitch with the odd burst of acceleration.
Guimaraes, in short, combines the authority and presence of a Thomas Partey with the buccaneering, box-to-box potential of a young Patrick Vieira. He can get better, too.
“Bruno Guimaraes was very good but in the first half he lost too many balls, even if he made a fantastic assist,” embattled Lyon coach Peter Bosz told MadeInFoot.
“All players can lose balls, no problem it’s football, but not him. After the break, he was very, very good.”
Could Bruno Guimaraes solve Arsenal’s midfield issues?
Speaking to Globo Esporte a fortnight ago, Guimaraes confirmed Arsenal had indeed expressed an interest in him during the summer transfer window.
And if those 3-0 and 5-0 shellackings at the hands of Chelsea and Manchester City are anything to go by, Arteta is still crying out for a domineering central midfield player capable of stopping opposition attacks before starting new ones on his own.
Perhaps Guimaraes – who completed more tackles than Thomas Partey, more passes than Granit Xhaka and scored more goals than Emile Smith Rowe last season (WhoScored) – will come back on the radar in January?
Here’s what some Arsenal fans on Twitter had to say about the situation: