Jurgen Klopp signed Arthur Melo in the final hours of the summer transfer window, but he has yet to make his Premier League debut following a nightmare spell on Merseyside
He hasn’t played in the Premier League all season, but Liverpool loanee Arthur Melo is now in the spotlight after shaking hands with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
For many Liverpool fans, it was the first time they saw one of the club’s oddest signings.
Transferred from Juventus on transfer deadline day in the summer window for a £4.5m loan fee, the Brazilian international – who has 22 caps – has had a nightmare on Merseyside.
Arthur made a 13-minute cameo appearance off the bench in September’s 4-1 Champions League thrashing of Napoli in Italy before suffering a serious thigh injury in training that required surgery and kept the former Barcelona midfielder out until February.
He made his comeback for the Under 21s and has spent the last few weeks on the bench, but he has yet to play a minute in the Premier League.
It means Liverpool are unlikely to pay the £35 million required to make the 26-year-move old’s permanent in the summer. And many Liverpool fans would be relieved if Arthur, who is expected to start against Arsenal, was released right now.
They were outraged when he shook hands with Guardiola, who was celebrating Julian Alvarez’s equalizer in City’s 4-1 win over Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Both the Brazilian and full-back Kostas Tsimikas were warming up on the opposite side of the pitch, ready to be confronted by a frolicking Guardiola. Tsimikas tried to ignore the City manager, much to the chagrin of the travelling Liverpool fans and those watching on TV, but Arthur happily shook his hand.
Any goodwill surrounding his situation at Anfield quickly vanished, with many fans taking to social media to express their disgust at his actions.
“Arthur had the opportunity to make himself a Liverpool legend without kicking a ball by giving Guardiola what he deserved,” one Twitter user wrote. Others demanded that his loan be terminated, claiming that he had disrespected Liverpool by agreeing to join Guardiola’s celebrations.
Federico Pastorello, Arthur’s agent, believes his client can still make an impact before returning to Juventus. “He got unlucky with his injury.” I’m hoping he can still contribute before the end of the season.” Pastorello stated this.
Sunday’s game against Arsenal would be a good place to start.