Eddie Howe could not hide his joy after it was announced that Bruno Guimaraes has signed a new long-term deal at Newcastle United.
Guimaraes, 25, has been with the Magpies since January 2022 when he inked a four-and-a-half-year deal. And it was soon obvious why the Tynesiders paid Lyon around £40m for his services. The Brazil international slotted seamlessly into the side, scoring five goals from 17 outings in the second half of 2021-2022.
He bagged the same number of goals from 40 outings last term but his overall contribution far outweighs the simple stats.
The South American’s skill level added to his work rate make him a manager’s dream in midfield.
Both Liverpool and Chelsea were linked with the man from Rio de Janeiro during the summer months.
But they will have to continue to face him after his contract extension and the midfield maestro could not be happier.
“I’m absolutely delighted. The fans have made me feel at home since my first day here and I feel so loved in my life,” he told the club’s official website.
“I’m so happy here. It’s a place that is so comfortable to be and I hope to keep making the supporters happy and helping the team do well.
“That’s my goal because there are no words to describe how happy I am to be here.”
And the former Athletico Paranaense ace is elated to be part of the club’s current success.
“I remember in my first interview, I said I wanted to play for this club in the Champions League and now it’s happening,” he added.
“We are doing so well and when I look around the pitch at my team-mates, I am so proud of them all. I’m proud of everyone; the team, the staff, the owners and the fans.”
Howe outlines Guimaraes importance
Guimaraes is one of a number of players brought to St James’ Park following the takeover.
Many more will follow as the north-east outfit looks to continue its progress.
But Howe is in no doubt as to where his number 39 stands in the pecking order.
“I’m delighted to get Bruno signed and committed to the long-term future of the football club,” he said.
“He’s such an important player and he’s done so well since he joined the club.
“He’s been a huge success since he’s been here so I just hope that he can continue in that vein and carry on his success with us.”
And the former Bournemouth chief believes Guimaraes’s attitude sums up the team spirit being forged at the club.
“I think he epitomises the recent success we’ve had,” he added. “He’s put in so many good displays, he’s very consistent and he’s got a great personality off the pitch as well.
“He cares very deeply about Newcastle United and the success of the club and he’s got a great relationship with our supporters.
“He’s been a key signing for us – definitely the type of signing that we want to make.”
Newcastle’s next test comes against West Ham on Sunday when they face the in-form Hammers at the London Stadium.