By Dave Marshall
Barcelona have completed the signing of Brazilian midfielder, Arthur Melo on a six-year contract.
The 21-year-old, dubbed the new Xavi, had been expected to join the Spanish giants at the start of next year, but has now been brought in as the immediate replacement for Paulinho, who left the club to re-join his former club, Guangzhou Evergrande after a year at the club.
Arthur completes a “lifelong dream” by joining Barcelona from Gremio for a fee believed to be around €30million, with another €9m owed in bonuses.
How does this relate to Manchester United? We had been linked with the central midfielder, whose unique talent has seen him tipped to become one of the best players in the world.
His passing accuracy is exceptional; prior to his move to Barca, he had managed to score one goal and create one assist off the back of having a passing accuracy of around 94.8% – the best in the whole of the Brazilian league.
Arthur is the master of the short passes and able to make intelligent decisions in tight spaces. He is primarily a defensive midfielder in the mould of Xavi, and will be tasked with the responsibility of orchestrating things from deep. He could also play further forward. The exit of Andres Iniesta means there will be chance to show what he is made of when the new season commences the next month.
In 70 matches for Gremio, he scored 6 times and won 3 trophies, most notably the Copa Libertadores in 2017; sadly we have to look elsewhere.