This article is taken from the new GFFN 100 2021. The GFFN 100 ranks the top 100 players in French football over the past 12 months, see the full list and read all 100 profiles right here on GFFN.
Ever since Bruno Guimarães arrived at Lyon for a fee of £18m from Athletico Paranaense as Juninho’s first marquee signing as sporting director, he has been a mainstay in the Lyon midfield. The Brazilian immediately became a favourite with fans of Les Gones after an impressive performance against Juventus in the Champions League last 16 back in February 2020, who have been insistent that he is given the platform to succeed.
In the early stages of 2021, the Brazil international will have been slightly frustrated with Rudi Garcia in a run of games where he made few starts – although contracting Covid-19 didn’t help. Despite a lack of European matches for OL, Garcia opted for Guimarães’ countryman Thiago Mendes to play the deeper role for his side, taking into account the impressive run of form the former Lille man showed at the end of 2020. The preference for Mendes appeared bizarre to some, due Guimarães’ obvious technical skillset.
He did manage to score three goals and add an assist in the 2020/21 season though. Including a brace against Lorient when he netted a penalty and slotted home with a great finish after a one-two with Islam Slimani before sitting down the goalkeeper.
The summer saw success internationally for OL’s number 39, as he captained Brazil at the delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo. His leadership helped inspire the young Brazilian squad all the way to the final before beating Spain after extra time, adding an Olympic Gold Medal to his Copa Sudamericana he won back in his homeland.
The arrival of Peter Bosz as Lyon coach this summer has seen the 24-year-old in much higher favour. Guimarães has featured 16 times for Lyon this season and has been an integral part of the side. OL have struggled this season, currently lying in midtable, but Bruno’s performances have been one of the bright spots in what has been a difficult campaign.
With three assists so far and acting as the senior man in midfield with Maxence Caqueret acclimatising to regular minutes in a double pivot, Guimarães has shown signs of the early form that made him an immediate hit. His passing range has been a key part of transitions for OL, with most attacks moving through the Brazilian. He’s amassed some very impressive stats in the process, which include completing more than 67 passes per 90 minutes with a success rate of 88%, according to FBRef.