The Brazilian midfielder joined the LaLiga club in 2018.
According to several reports, FC Barcelona and Juventus have been in discussions surrounding a potential swap deal featuring Miralem Pjanic and Arthur Melo. Barcelona supposedly has an agreement in place already with Juventus for a couple of months now, with Arthur’s reluctancy to make a switch acting as the only roadblock in the deal.
The Brazilian appears determined to stay put and fight for his place in the first-team at the Spanish outfit. The midfielder has spent two years at the club after signing from Brazilian club Gremio in the summer of 2018 and his performances have certainly made a positive impression. He is a very talented player and his determination to make his mark at the club is admirable. The decision to let him go could prove to be a costly one in the future and we will provide you a few reasons why it could turn out to be that case.
5. Best years ahead of him
Arthur Melo has mesmerized the Blaugrana faithful with his graceful performances in the centre of the park. After signing for the club, he surprisingly hit the ground running and gave the impression that he has spent ages at the club. His serene aura and measured passing ability made him an instant hit at his new club.
However, the midfielder encountered a few injury issues last season, with his professionalism and fitness called into question by the Spanish media. Moreover, the arrival of Frenkie de Jong has further resulted in reduced game time for him. It has to be noted though that Arthur is just 23, already a key figure for his national side, and is still not the finished product.
There are certain areas of his game that require work but can be improved with proper coaching and time on the field. Some of his natural traits are difficult to find in other players and hence it would be injudicious to discard such wonderful promise for a short-term solution..
4. Aging Squad
The age profile of the current Barcelona squad should be a worrying sight for the management. Lionel Messi (33), Gerard Pique (33), Luis Suarez (33), Sergio Busquets (31), Jordi Alba (31), and Arturo Vidal (33) are important figures in the squad that are all on the wrong end of the 30s. Even Antoine Griezmann, their big-money acquisition last summer is 29 and he too hasn’t been at his fluent best this season.
Now replacing a highly-promising young prospect with Pjanic (30), who is also not growing any younger represents an extremely questionable decision. The Bosnian remains a skilful conductor and might even be a slight upgrade but the truth of the matter is that he has shown signs of decline this season and could quite possibly regress further.
In the best-case scenario, he proves to be a valuable addition, improves the side immediately, and performs at a high level for a few seasons. But then yet again in a couple of years, the Catalans will have to bring their chequebook out to sign a replacement for him when they could have stuck with Arthur and avoided such a hassle in the first place by fighting the temptation of a short-term fix.
3. Ideal fit in the Barca system
The Brazilian has earned plenty of plaudits for playing in a manner synonymous with some of the legendary midfielders that have donned the Barca jersey. His ability to control the tempo of the game and dictate play in an elegant fashion has earned him comparisons with Xavi. He is even said to possess “the Barca DNA” and his performances certainly justify that claim.
Furthermore, manager Quique Setien utilizes a system that demands an incessant need to dominate possession and then smoothly circulate the ball to carve openings. In such a system, one requires technically gifted players that also possess keen awareness and intelligence so that they could cleverly and constantly shift the ball in order to disrupt the organization of the opposition. The 23-year-old’s playing style makes him a perfect fit in the current system and has the ideal qualities to thrive under the Spaniard’s tutelage.
2. Consistent Performer
Arthur Melo offers a very dependable presence in midfield. He isn’t the most dynamic player but makes simple decisions when he is on the ball to ensure that his side exercise control over the opposition. The Brazilian excels in pulling strings from a deeper position allowing his teammates to do the glamorous stuff in the attacking third.
In his first season, he won his maiden La Liga title and played an influential role in that campaign. His performance levels dipped a bit in the second season but he still has remained fairly consistent. A pass completion rate of 90.7% indicate to his precise passing prowess in the middle whilst he has also contributed to the attack with four goals and four assists across all competitions this season.
1. Presents an undesirable change in philosophy
Lately, Barcelona has had a disastrous track record in the transfer market as they have made a number of poor signings and have unwisely spent an exorbitant amount of money on established superstars. This change in transfer strategy hasn’t worked out for them and the profile of the current squad encapsulates their disorganized and embarrassing recent dealings.
Even their famed academy La Masia’s reputation has taken a tumble and they are far from the club that once had a myriad of young faces running the show on the biggest stages. The emergence of Ansu Fati indicates the benefits of providing youngsters with the chance to shine and the rewards of being brave by giving them the opportunities to excel even if they might make some novice mistakes in the beginning.
Swapping Arthur with an experienced albeit aging campaigner like Pjanic will be the direct antithesis of that idea and will represent a larger change in approach and priorities at the sacred institution. Hence, the deal could turn out to be a disaster on so many levels and it would be wise to pull the plug on the transfer or they might end up ruing it a few years down the line.