Despite a slow start to his Barcelona career, Arthur is now a must-have for both club and country beginning with Brazil’s classic encounter against Argentina
After becoming one of the most important players for Grêmio in their Copa Libertadores triumph last season, Arthur has been making rapid progress since the summer’s move to Barcelona. The midfielder is quickly transforming into a starter for both his club and country.
Ever since completing his transfer, there were doubts whether Arthur had made the right move and if he would get enough minutes for his development. That is certainly the situation being suffered by his compatriot, Malcom, at the moment, after a move from Bordeaux.
However, it is becoming obvious that he possesses the Barça DNA and can possibly be a solid replacement for the legendary Xavi Hernandez. The Spaniard and Brazilian share many traits in their styles of play.
A slow start with Barcelona
The season with Barca did not start in the best way possible for Arthur, but everything changed when Tottenham hosted Barcelona at Wembley Stadium in the Champions League. The Brazilian surprisingly started the game from the off.
In one of the most important games of the season so far for Barca, Arthur had an excellent performance. It seemed like the ball was like attracted to his feet like a magnet. Dispossessing Arthur was almost mission impossible. It is in this match that his technical quality stood out, and his ball retention was key in helping break the intense pressure from the Premier League side. If it were not for Arthur, it could have have been a totally different outcome rather than the 4-2 win for the visitors.
Since then, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde seems to have learned his lesson, and trusted Arthur in another difficult away fixture against Valencia, where he lived up to expectations yet again. It’s becoming more and more obvious that this player is the future of Barcelona’s midfield. But what about his situation with Brazil’s national team?
Fresh blood needed for Brazil
Brazil had quite an underwhelming midfield performance against Belgium in the World Cup, with the likes of Fernandinho and Paulinho failing to deliver the basic needs of any player in their position.
The national team needs to build a more technically gifted side, and replacing Paulinho with Arthur would be a notable move in this direction. The Chinese Super League star always gave the impression that he was an attacker much more than a midfielder, whereas Arthur is a pure technician, with the ability to improve the build-up play, not waste possession and remain comfortable when under pressure.
As Brazil continues to prepare for Copa América set to take place in June, the midfield trio that the fans are anticipating is the one made up of Casemiro, Arthur and Philippe Coutinho.
Following his strong displays in Spain and his marquee performance against Tottenham, up next for Arthur will be the clash between Brazil and Argentina in Saudi Arabia. The 22-year-old will need to keep on delivering the goods on his first South American derby with the Seleção.