The January transfer window will be upon us within a few days and as usual speculations and rumours will start in full flow. Now let’s look at a player whose transfer speculation has a lot of weight behind it. Arthur Melo, the midfield controller from Gremio, has been in news in recent times being a highly coveted young player. Barcelona director Robert Fernández recently visited Brazil to have look at him and later pictures of Arthur in barca shirt made headlines. However both his agent and the club later clarified that there has been no concrete offer from any particular club. Also there is a small matter of the price, 50 million pounds is his release clause. Speculations aside, let’s take a look at the player.
Arthur Melo is 21 years old, 5’8″ in height and plays as a central midfielder for Gremio. He is also among the youngest players in recent times being called up for Brazil national side the other being Gabriel Jesus though he is yet to play for them. Arthur is very calm and composed on the ball, he has that unique ability to have time and space on the ball and can control the game as well as lead the attack. This season he has made above 2000 passes and completed 93% of them, an impressive figure indeed. He also produced almost one key pass per game this season , which will also improve if he moves further up the field. He also has averaged two tackles and one interception per game this season which means he has the defensive eye too. His holding of the ball, body feints and pirouettes have invited comparisons to the likes of Andre’s Iniesta and Thiago Alcantara. His injury history is also good having been the player with one of the highest minutes played for Gremio this season . His style, ability on ball, vision and attitude will definitely suit barca, how quickly he can adjust to the jump in level from brasiliero to la liga and whether he can sustain it needs to be seen.
The talent is definitely there, though he needs to transfer his game from Brazilian league to one of the elite European leagues, and the price tag of 50 million is also a risky one. Barcelona was also interested in Gabriel Jesus before, but refrained from taking the risk with the player going to city and Barca officials must regret that move now. A swift decision needs to be made before other top clubs also arrive and turns this into an ugly bidding war. Then there is the prodigious 19 year old Carles Alena in La Masia, who, if properly guided and nurtured, will surely be among the premium midfielders in La liga, and Arthur will directly stunt his development. The rumours are high and barca is seriously interested with many saying that investing 40-45 million on such a prodigious talent like Arthur who is only 21 will be better than spending 150 million on Coutinho who is 26, though Coutinho is one of the best in Europe at the moment, since Arthur stylistically suits Barcelona more than Coutinho and is much younger. I say, snatch him up Barcelona, before you regret losing this one too, just like you must be regretting not going for Gabriel Jesus.
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