According to a recent report by Spanish news source Mundo Deportivo, La Liga giants Barcelona are said to be in ‘advanced negotiations’ with Italian super-club Juventus over the potential transfer of the Catalan’s midfield magician Arthur Melo. The report suggests that Maurizio Sarri considers the Brazilian midfielder to be fundamental to developing his football idea in Turin and that the club are ready to make a bid that even a mammoth outfit like Barcelona wouldn’t be able to reject.
It has been suggested that Juventus are willing to make a big offer since the midfielder’s current salary package is relatively quite low. It has also been claimed that this interest from the Serie A has come as a massive blow to Tottenham Hotspur, who have also been on the lookout for some technically gifted midfielders for quite a while now. The report clarifies that Tottenham and Inter Milan are both interested in Melo’s signature. Still, the fact that his girlfriend is said to be taking Catalan lessons is pointing in a different direction.
What Does Arthur Melo Offer In The Middle Of The Park?
Often likened to Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez due to his similar playing style, Melo arrived at the Nou Camp from Brazilian side Gremio back in 2018 for a fee in the region of £27m. Although he was initially signed as a backup option, saying that he’s had an impact in the first-team would be a massive understatement.
The 23-year-old is one of the most technically gifted players that this Barcelona team possesses, and the fact that Quique Setien has preferred to play him over the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal further highlights that fact.
Still young and in a developmental phase in his career, playing alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have obviously had a positive impact on the midfielder over the last couple of seasons. The partnership that Arthur has formed with midfield starlet Frenkie De Jong has worked wonders for the Blaugrana this season. Although he did miss a small part of the campaign due to a snowboarding injury, his return to the side was eagerly anticipated by the fans.
The best way to describe Arthur Melo’s skill-set would just be ‘well-rounded’. There aren’t too many things that the Brazilian can’t do while out on the pitch, and moving the ball around effectively in the middle of the park is just the start. The midfielder is adept at dropping deep to pick up the ball and then driving forward, thereby catching the opposition midfield line by surprise. Despite being fairly diminutive in size as well, the 23-year-old offers excellent strength as well as composure in the midfield area.
Why Barcelona Can’t Afford To Let Melo Leave?
For starters, the Brazilian played in 16 La Liga outings this season, and only missed the remaining fixtures owing to the aforementioned snowboarding injury. This highlights his sheer importance to the side. The midfielder produced three goals and three assists along the way as well. Players like Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal have been important parts of this Barcelona core for a while now, and their rising age has always been a concern. Arthur would be a readymade replacement for the roles of any of these midfielders, meaning that selling him this summer could turn out to be an absolute disaster in the long-run.