Connect with us

Sports

Arthur Melo to Liverpool: Injury-prone but technically brilliant, Brazil midfielder a gamble worth taking for Jurgen Klopp

Published

on

theheute-

Jurgen Klopp had already confirmed Liverpool were in the market for a midfielder before Wednesday’s win over Newcastle but Jordan Henderson’s hamstring injury added to the urgency.

Henderson joined Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines when he was forced off in the second half at Anfield but Liverpool acted just 24 hours later, confirming the loan signing of Arthur Melo from Juventus.

Arthur looked to have a brilliant future in Catalonia at that point but it never quite came to fruition for him.

Advertisement

Over the course of his first season at the club, he only started more than three consecutive games on two occasions. By the end of his second, he had fallen out of favour altogether.

His move to Juventus that summer, for a fee of £66m, with Miralem Pjanic moving the other way for £54.8m, provided a change of scenery but ultimately not a change of fortunes.

Arthur impressed in patches in his first campaign in Italy but featured sporadically under Andrea Pirlo and it was a similar story under Pirlo’s successor Massimiliano Allegri last season.

His talent has never been in doubt – Allegri described his technical ability as “extraordinary” earlier this year and Pirlo was similarly complimentary – but other factors held him back.

Robustness under scrutiny

Injuries have been a persistent issue for Arthur and they leave question marks hanging over him as he arrives at Anfield.

Advertisement

Liverpool’s absentee list is such that Arthur will be needed immediately but does he have the robustness for the Premier League? Does he have the robustness to play under Klopp?

ALSO READ  PSG: He won 4 ballon d’Ors at your age – Rooney slams Mbappe for pushing Messi

Liverpool’s breathless approach demands high levels of stamina and physical resilience and there is little in Arthur’s recent history to suggest he possesses those qualities.

He has not featured at all for Juventus this season and arrives at Anfield having not played a single minute of competitive action since Juve’s Coppa Italia final defeat to Inter Milan four months ago.

It is not exactly ideal preparation for a side about to embark on a run of five games in 15 days.

It is not ideal, either, that Arthur has never started more than 19 league games in a league season in Europe, the percentage of fixtures he has started in fact declining every year since his arrival from Brazil back in 2018.

Advertisement

It is a worrying trend which goes part of the way to explaining why Arsenal decided against moving for him in the January transfer window. The hope for Klopp and Liverpool is he will succeed in reversing that trend in his new surroundings.

Pass master like Thiago

If he can, it may yet prove an inspired piece of business.

Thankfully for Liverpool, Arthur’s susceptibility to injury is not the only quality he has in common with Thiago.

Until now, Liverpool have not possessed another midfielder capable of influencing proceedings quite like Thiago in possession but Arthur might just be that man – providing he can stay fit.

While he has not featured nearly as regularly as he would like during his time with Juventus, his influence on the ball can be seen in his statistical output.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Algeria 2-1 Nigeria Player Ratings: Moffi shines as Eagles lose fourth consecutive match to Algeria

He has averaged more touches per 90 minutes than any other Juventus player over the last two seasons and also ranks top in terms of passes and pass success. Only one player, Manuel Locatelli, has averaged more passes in the final third.

Much like Thiago, whose off-the-ball work is underrated, Arthur offers plenty out of possession too, the statistics showing he has won possession in the middle third of the pitch at a higher rate than any other Juventus player over the last two seasons.

Chiefly, though, he is someone who can help his team dominate possession and unpick opposition defences. Like Thiago, he is not known for racking up goals and assists. He is more likely to be found starting attacks than finishing them.

But his “extraordinary” technical ability coupled with the Xavi-like distribution which marked him out for a big future at Barcelona could help ease Liverpool’s reliance on Thiago, and give them a much-needed alternative in an area of the pitch in which they too frequently find themselves short on numbers.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Olise’s late strike gets Palace point against United

Published

on

Michael Olise has helped Crystal Palace get a point against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

The midfielder’s late strike in extra-time, 91′, levelled the game against United, who had controlled the lead since the 43rd minute of the first half after Bruno Fernandes’ fine finish put the Red Devils ahead just before the break.

A relentless Olise scored from a free kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. The equalising goal saw United’s dream of replacing defending EPL champions City in the second place on the league table, fade away, as they remain third with 39 points, having played a game more than City.

Crystal Palace remains in 12th place with 23 points.

Advertisement

copyrighyt @punchnewspaper

ALSO READ  I Cried When I Found Out That I Was Only Going to Be a Fake Housemate-BBNaija’s Modella Shares, Fans React
Continue Reading

Sports

Atletico Madrid head coach speaks on leaving Atletico Madrid

Published

on

Atletico Madrid head coach, Diego Simeone, has insisted that nobody has personally told him to leave the club.

Rumours have persisted that Simeone, 52, could be set to end this 11-year stay at Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

However, the Argentine has now stated that no one at the club has asked him to quit the La Liga giants.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie with Levante on Wednesday night, Simeone said when asked about reports suggesting he would leave the club at the end of the season: “No one has personally asked me to leave.”

Advertisement

However, having already been eliminated from UEFA Champions League and sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, the Copa del Rey is Atletico Madrid’s last realistic opportunity for a trophy this season.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Simeone’s side, as they sit fourth in the league.

Simeone added, “The boys are enthusiastic to reverse this situation that we have experienced since the break and prior to the World Cup. It’s been a regular to a bad season. For me, there is growth after the break, hopefully, we will continue in that line.”

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Hubby and I good time – Maureen Esisi shares romantic moments with BBNaija Prince
Continue Reading

Sports

EPL: Frank Lampard won’t run away – Shaun Wright-Phillips

Published

on

Former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips has backed his former teammate, Frank Lampard to stay at Goodison Park and turn things around.

Wright-Phillips said his former team-mate does not run away from challenges such as Everton is facing now but would face them squarely

Lampard is in danger of being sacked any moment from now after yet another defeat on Friday.

Everton crashed out of the FA Cup on Friday after they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford

Advertisement

Frank Lampard has now led Toffees to six defeats in their last seven matches and they have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and are currently 18th in the Premier League.

“Frank Lampard has always been a player and a person that won’t run away from things not going well,” Wright-Phillips told the BBC.

“He is the type of person to try and solve it or try and make the situation a lot better…”

Advertisement
ALSO READ  EPL: Glen Johnson predicts result of Arsenal vs Tottenham derby clash
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 TheHeute.