Bruno Guimaraes feels that Newcastle can “definitely” eclipse former suitors Arsenal as a Premier League heavyweight, with the Magpies new boy stating that he believes they can become a bigger club than the Gunners.
The Brazil international was the jewel in the crown of a £90 million ($122m) winter spending spree on Tyneside, with Eddie Howe’s side beating out the north London outfit to the ex-Lyon man’s signature.
Speaking ahead of a potential debut against Everton this week, the 24-year-old – who has made no secret of his desire to test himself at the highest level – added that he could see no reason why his new club could not grow their reputation beyond their peers, including the other top English side who courted his services.
“Definitely,” Guimaraes told The Guardian when asked if Newcastle could potentially be a bigger team than Arsenal. “It’s already a club with a great tradition, a big history.
“I have no doubts about my decision to come here. I believe in everything the owners told me about their project. We’re going to be a big power in world football.
“This season, the idea is to stay in the Premier League but the main objective in the years to come is to be in the Champions League and, eventually, to win the Champions League.”
When he takes to the field for the first time, Guimaraes will sport the number 39 shirt for Newcastle this term, a pick which is rooted in personal preference rather than traditional squad hierarchy, as he further explained.
“My dad was a taxi driver for 20 years and No.39 was his taxi number,” he added. “So when I signed for my first professional club, Athletico Paranaense, he asked me to take his number for my shirt.
“It sustained my family when I was growing up and we won four league titles at Paranaense, so it has also proved lucky for me on the pitch. I take it everywhere with me.”
Having splashed the cash under their new ownership last month, the Magpies have undoubtedly strengthened drastically against their rivals around the foot of the Premier League table.
But former Bournemouth boss Howe will be under no illusion that time is running out to ensure the path to safety is an easily-walked one for his side.
After Everton, matches with Aston Villa and West Ham will present arguably strong possibilities for points – but the Tyneside outfit will be aware that every game without points is another pitfall they must navigate.
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