Brazil boss Tite says Guimaraes or Paqueta can be Selecao's De Bruyne

Bruno Guimaraes and Lucas Paqueta could turn out to be Brazil's answer to Kevin De Bruyne, according to head coach Tite.

French club Lyon signed Bruno Guimaraes from Athletico Paranaense in January, while Paqueta has endured a mixed first year in Europe after leaving Flamengo to join Milan in Italy.

Following a strong start to life in France, Guimaraes received his first senior call-up to Brazil earlier this month, though the Selecao's World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Tite is not short of midfield talent but believes his squad lacks a player to link defence to attack in the masterful manner of Manchester City star De Bruyne, although he told France Football he has high hopes for the duo, who are both 22 years old.

"We currently lack a relay midfielder. A player like Falcao in the past. Or like De Bruyne today, able to play sometimes lower to help Casemiro and make the game start again, sometimes higher to bring more creativity, speed and percussion," he said.

"Bruno Guimaraes, who just signed for Lyon and was the best under-23 player qualified for the (now postponed) Olympic Games, has enormous potential and can be that player. I also think of Paqueta, who plays in Milan."

Paqueta joined Milan from Flamengo in January 2019 and has made 17 total appearances in Serie A in the 2019-20 campaign, though just nine of those have been starts. 

Guimaraes, meanwhile, has quickly become a key figure for Lyon, and started five consecutive games for the Ligue 1 side before the season came to a halt due to the coronavirus crisis. 

Tite saw De Bruyne's talents up close when his rasping strike proved decisive in the 2018 World Cup quarter-final between Belgium and Brazil – a gripping encounter where the Selecao boss felt his men deserved "at least extra time".

"Of all the matches I have run, this is the one where we have displayed the highest quality," the man who masterminded glory at last year's Copa America added. "The result is not indicative of our performance."