"We had a great season together at Galatasaray," said Lukas Podolski in the summer on the previously unknown Bruma, who contributed an impressive 11 goals and six assists in the Turkish first division last season.
"The lad has great potential. Of course the Bundesliga is a big step for him, but he can definitely make it," Podolski added.
And he appears to have been correct. Although Bruma scored his first goal with a stunner on Matchday 2, the Portuguese failed to progress beyond the status of squad player at RB Leipzig in the first half of the season. The clocks were reset in the new year, though, and the Portugal international has been able to take advantage of Emil Forsberg’s absence through injury to make a name for himself on the left wing.
Bruma started all three Bundesliga matches in January, netting in the games against FC Schalke 04 and Hamburger SV. The 23-year-old was particularly impressive in one-on-one situations, attempting the most dribbles in the league after Schalke’s Amine Harit, December’s Rookie of the Month, and also won a proud 52 per cent of his attacking challenges.
In January, he dribbled his way past almost as many players (12) as Bayern’s Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery combined (15). Bruma’s passing has also improved markedly, with his accuracy increasing from 79 per cent in the first half of the season to 89 per cent in January.
The Guinea-Bissau-born winger won his first senior cap for Portugal in November with the clear aim of going to the World Cup in the summer. That could be a formality with the sort of performances he’s been showing.