Many outspoken Liverpool supporters on Twitter expressed confusion about the recruiting team’s choice to sign Arthur Melo on a loan on the final day of the transfer window.
The Brazilian international player, who has spent the last four years splitting his time between Barcelona and Juventus, comes with an amazing résumé. Leo Messi, an ex-teammate, once compared him to Barcelona icon Xavi while he was playing for the former club.
Ultimately, of course, as the same group of supporters noted earlier would be happy to point out, such lofty expectations have scarcely been represented in recent performances on the field, with Massimiliano Allegri failing to find a place for the 26-year-old in his starting-XI.
In fact, Arthur hasn’t played in more than a half of football since May 6, when his team lost to Genoa 2-1.
But it wouldn’t surprise us in the least if things took a potentially seismic turn for the worst under Jurgen Klopp.
Meritocracy rules supreme in the German tactician’s decision-making, but a lengthy period without competitive games and the approaching international break may provide our No. 29 with the ideal opportunity to close the gap to regular first-team minutes.
The former Gremio player has reportedly gained the attention of the coaching staff with his work ethic in practice, and playing a significant amount of time in the U21s’ victory at Leicester will only have pushed him one step closer to his objectives.
Being the player in the Liverpool team with whom he shares the most stylistic similarities and now back in action will have put a wrench in the plan, but there’s a good likelihood that Thiago Alcantara will be the one Klopp turns to when he wants to rotate the Spanish international.
Fabio Aurelio described the midfielder to liverpoolfc.com as a player who “wants to be in the game constantly, touching the ball, controlling the pace of play, preferring to be dynamic – similar, in a sense, to what Thiago likes to do.”
That might not result in a debut against Brighton & Hove Albion on October 1, but it shouldn’t be seen as a guarantee that our newest member of the squad won’t get the nod with at least a few minutes to go.
The assurance it will give us moving ahead, if he can then demonstrate to the manager that he is capable of having a comparable impact on the side as our No.6, will be priceless.
More importantly, the fact that we want to replace Thiago with a permanent deal worth two years’ worth of payments in the summer window (at the latest) makes this possibility one that might end up saving the club tens of millions of pounds.
Even while Liverpool’s recent last-minute bets haven’t always paid off well, there is reason for hope given the caliber of talent we know we potentially have on our hands if given the space to fully thrive in Merseyside.
It’s at the very least a cheap and pretty safe throw of the dice.