A number of vocal fans on Twitter were left scratching their heads at Liverpool’s recruitment team’s decision to bring in Arthur Melo on loan on deadline day.
The Brazilian international arrived with an impressive CV having spent the last four years playing for both Barcelona and Juventus, previously earning comparisons to Blaugrana legend Xavi from ex-teammate Leo Messi during his time with the former.
Ultimately, of course, as that very same aforementioned group of supporters will be quick to point out, such high expectations have hardly been reflected in performances on the pitch of late with Massimiliano Allegri failing to find a spot for the 26-year-old in his starting-XI.
Indeed, the last time Arthur featured in over a half of football was in a 2-1 defeat to Genoa on 6th May.
Under Jurgen Klopp, however, we’d be far from surprised to witness a potentially seismic reversal of fortunes.
Meritocracy reigns supreme as far as the German tactician’s selection calls are concerned, though a length of time away from competitive fixtures and the upcoming international break could hand our No.29 the perfect opportunity to make some headway in closing the gap to regular first-team minutes.
Reports have already noted that the former Gremio man has caught the eye of the coaching staff with his application in training, and a big chunk of minutes in the U21s’ win at Leicester will have only helped him inch closer to his goals.
Thiago Alcantara being back in action and critical as ever will have thrown a spanner in the works (being the player with whom he is stylistically the most comparable to within the Liverpool squad), though there’s a real chance he’s the man Klopp will turn to when wanting to rotate the Spanish international.
“He’s a player that likes to constantly be in the game, touching the ball, controlling the pace of play, liking to be dynamic – similar to what Thiago likes to do in a sense,” Fabio Aurelio spoke of the midfielder to liverpoolfc.com.
That may not lead to a first start against Brighton & Hove Albion on October 1 but it absolutely shouldn’t rule out the possibility of our latest addition to the squad being given the nod with more than a handful of minutes left to go.
If he can then show the manager that he’s capable of having a similar effect on the side as our No.6, the security it will provide us going forward will be invaluable.
More to the point, given we’re looking to refresh our midfield in the summer window (at the absolute latest), it’s a reality that could end up saving the club tens of millions of pounds on a potential replacement for Thiago with a permanent deal payable over two years.
Recent last-minute gambles admittedly haven’t worked out superbly for Liverpool in recent years, though there’s good cause for optimism when considering the calibre of player we know we could have on our hands if given room to truly flourish in Merseyside.
At the very least, it’s a relatively harmless, inexpensive roll of the dice.