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Liverpool Closing on Season-Long Loan Deal for Arthur Melo

The former Barcelona midfielder was seventh-choice at Juventus and the move could help him stay in contention for a call-up by Brazil to the World Cup.

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Coppa Italia Final Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Per multiple reports, Liverpool FC is closing in on a loan deal for Juventus’ Arthur Melo. The midfielder is on his way to Liverpool for a medical, which will help facilitate the deal before the transfer deadline tonight.

The 26-year-old Brazilian international has seemed surplus to requirements under Massimiliano Allegri, and this arrangement will suit both clubs just fine.

So far, Fabrizio Romano has been the only reporter talking about the lack of a buy option in the deal, so we’ll see when the details are finalised.

My initial thoughts on the deal - this is going to be quite underwhelming for many Reds fans, but it was pretty clear that the club wasn’t going to be lining up a blockbuster deal. Arthur himself is sort of an interesting reclamation project.

He’s a technically-gifted, press-resistant player who possesses great vision, a good presser, and semi-decent athleticism at the position. Despite a somewhat undeserved reputation for sideways passing, his best years were at Barcelona, especially the 19/20 season, where he was allowed to both progressively carry and pass the ball. Unfortunately as @EuroExpert_ points out, he got replaced by Frenkie de Jong, who just happens to be better at those things, and has been moved around a lot position-wise. As a result, his attacking numbers have fallen off quite a bit.

What he clearly won’t be is a defensively-minded midfielder who plays deep, which seems to be what Pirlo and Allegri have done with him before quickly giving up on. Liverpool should look to keep him in the middle of the park to the final third, where his ball retention and creativity can be utilised.

According to Guillem Balague, the player seems to agree as well. I could see him being utilised like a mesh between a diet version of Thiago with some Gini Wijnaldum, with his primary role being to help the team keep and control the ball better in the attacking phase of the game. He’s been somewhat injury-prone in his career so far. Whilst he hasn’t had a significant injury, he often seems to pick up knocks and there... so he’ll fit right in.

This allows Liverpool to get a body in, and address some needs, while not spending a significant outlay now, preserving their chips for an expected pursuit of Jude Bellingham next summer.

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