After two months-long debate, after two months of long consistent effort from Juventus, the Brazilian Midfielder, Arthur Melo has finally had a change of heart. He is now set to move to Juventus, setting up a deal that will see Miralem Pjanic move to Barcelona.
Several reliable sources have confirmed the Arthur-Pjanic saga as completed. We only await confirmation from the respective clubs, which is only a matter of hours now.
Arthur’s arrangement is based on 5.2m + bonuses for a total of 5.5 m wage, which is thrice the amount he is earning currently in Barcelona.
Reportedly, Arthur will travel to Turin on Sunday after his game against Celta Vigo for medicals. Pjanic will also travel to Barca by tomorrow evening.
Pjanic and Arthur will remain at current clubs until 30th August and play for the respective clubs from Sep(Start of 2020/21 season).
Arthur and Barcelona
On 11th March 2018, Barcelona reached an agreement with Gremio for transfer of Arthur with 31m+9m in added variables. He signed a six-year contract and was officially announced as a Barcelona player on 9th July 2018. On 28th July, he scored a goal on his debut against Tottenham in a pre-season friendly match.
“To be a part of the greatest team in the world, with the best players in the world makes me feel privileged. I am pleased. I have always dreamed of putting on the FC Barcelona jersey.”
He loved Barcelona. He loved the city, the team, the Club, the philosophy. Xavi was his inspiration, and he had various similarities with the Barca legend. Xavi once said on the resemblances, ” I see myself when I see Arthur on television. He has Barca DNA. You can tell by the way he plays, how he moves the ball, the way he thinks, how he makes his turns, he is a very quick thinker.”
A visionary midfielder, a player always looking for spaces to pass the ball. With excellent ball control, he is challenging to dispossess when on the ball. He often utilizes his dribbling skills to significant effect and is known for using a feint called, ” la pelopina’, performed famously by Xavi and Iniesta.
More than goals, he would contribute to the team by assists and pre-assists. A deep-lying playmaker, central midfielder, and sometimes a holding midfielder too. He is a quality midfielder despite being only 23 years of age.
Statistically, he has four goals and six assists for Barcelona. More than that, his passing accuracy was very consistent and excellent for Barcelona. His highest passing accuracy was 98.6% against Lyon in a knockout game in UCL in 2019. This season he had a passing accuracy of 91.5% and successful dribbles of 91.2%, which is very spectacular for a 23-year-old lad.
Despite not graduating from La Masia, he adopted that style and techniques ingrained into Barcelona produced footballers at a young age.
Who won in this deal, Juventus or Barcelona?
Undoutdabely, Juventus are the one who is benefitting the most out of this deal. It is true that Pjanic is more experienced than Arthur and has also played at high levels in his career. But to lose out a 23-year-old, young guy with Barca style, a creative midfielder for a 30 years old showing signs of decline is not a good deal by any means. Barca will get 10m extra along with Pjanic but will also pay 700k to Goias [Arthur’s youth club] and 3m to Gremio due to initial agreement. This leaves Barca with 30 years old midfielder and 5m for a 23 years old midfielder with so much potential ahead.
Barca had better players to go for in the market and Barca have Puig and Pedri joining in soon to boost this midfield. Moreover, there were better options to offload from the midfield, like Rakitic and Vidal. Barca is a club where Xavi, Iniesta came from and showed the world the magic they can do. This Club gave the world Messi.
This transfer hasn’t only ruined future Barca but also raises questions on the philosophy Barca has. Xavi, Iniesta, quitted when they felt like new talents should come and take over. But currently, it is turning into a retirement club for players over 30, a team with spineless players playing only to get their paycheck.
These weekly wages show the financial difficulty Barca faces due to high salaries. Offloading Arthur was a way to make up for financial loss Barca could meet amidst the Corona pandemic.
Furthermore, After Arthur’s deal, Barca might sell Vidal, Rakitic, Umtiti, and Coutinho because Fifa rules stats that the difference between outgoing and incoming transfers cannot exceed 100m and Barca have already spend 225m.
They need to raise funds 200m before the next fiscal year, considering they still target Martinez in the transfer window to avoid FFP(Financial fair play) and potential transfer ban and other charges.
If this happens and Pjanic gains his confidence and his best form under Setien, we can gain something out of this deal. Puig could get more minutes too. But either way, it not plausible how Arthur kept fighting to stay and was pushed to the edge for this deal.
He had a desire to succeed at Barca; he had that vision, that ideology too. In 2018, Messi made comments on the signings Barca made, and if he were to choose one, it would be Arthur.
He said how he liked Brazilian’s game and how similar it was to Barca’s Xavi. He was admired by many football pundits and was considered a player with massive potential and future of Barcelona.
This transfer is only to balance Barca’s finance, which is why it is criticized massively by the public. This will go down in history as the biggest failure of Barca in a transfer window for sure.
Setien’s Say on Transfer
.Setien talked about Arthur during his pre-match press conference. He said, ” The club has not told me whether he’ll leave ” But what was criticized is, he said,” Arthur won’t be the 1st player to generate expectations that don’t materialize.”
Arthur’s mother took it to twitter to show her despise. Amidst transfer rumour, she previously had mentioned about Arthur being happy at Barcelona. Within a month, the scenario has now changed drastically.
Arthur’s departure is sure a massive loss for the football club Barcelona. His similarity with Xavi, his style, his willingness was unmatchable. Hope Barca can bring the best out of Pjanic. He still was a clinical player for Juventus.
But, Like Victor Font said,” We are at risk of becoming a new Milan.” Unless and Until Font or Laporta wins, Barcelona seems to be marching towards massive decline by games, by philosophy, something which this transfer saga has shown us.