Premier League • England

Former Liverpool man claims Klopp waiting to unlock thrilling Thiago likeness in Arthur Melo

Arthur Melo, Thiago Alcantara, September 2022

Arthur Melo can dominate a midfield just like Thiago Alcantara when he is at his best, according to a former Liverpool man excited about the new signing.

The Reds signed Arthur on transfer deadline day in the summer in an initial loan deal from Juventus. Liverpool have an option to buy the 26-year-old but have not yet seen enough of him to assess that option.

And despite Arthur’s only appearance so far lasting 14 minutes in the 4-1 Champions League defeat to Napoli, worrying reports emerged about his future in Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Reports claimed that Liverpool are having worrying second thoughts about the 22-time Brazil international.

However, a Spanish journalist rubbished those rumours by revealing the hard work Arthur is putting in behind the scenes to get up to speed.

And according to former Liverpool defender Fabio Aurelio, Arthur is yet to unlock his best talents for Liverpool. Amid Thiago’s performance against Ajax receiving plaudits, Arthur’s fellow Brazilian Aurelio has insisted his fellow countryman has a likeness to the Spaniard.

“I believe Arthur Melo is an interesting addition to this Liverpool squad, and it’s obviously great the Brazilian legacy at Liverpool expands,” Aurelio told Liverpool’s official website.

“I hope he has the same success as his compatriots. From what I know about him, he should fit really well in Liverpool’s system.

“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.

“I read Klopp highlighted Arthur’s ‘potential’ shortly after he signed on loan. Here in Brazil, the expectations for him were really high prior to his move to Europe. He couldn’t be in a better place to fulfil his potential than at Liverpool under this manager.”

Arthur Melo tipped to adapt at Liverpool

Arthur arrived in Europe from Gremio in 2018 when signing for Barcelona.

After two years at Camp Nou, he failed to make a true case for himself and left for Juventus. However, it has been a similar story for Arthur in Turin, hence his loan move to Anfield.

And Aurelio has admitted that Arthur could struggle at Liverpool – but admitted that the presence of Brazilians Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino can help him settle.

“Of course, he’ll need some time to adapt to the team and the Premier League,” Aurelio said.

“What I had to adjust to most was the intensity of the game. I had to learn to play more physical and think more quickly – without losing your technique, though. The pace can compromise your quality sometimes.

“His adaptation can be helped massively by the many Brazilians and Portuguese speakers in the squad.

“I was obviously Liverpool’s first Brazilian player when I joined in 2006 and didn’t speak any English. The Scouse accent was also a bit different to the one in our English lessons!”

Recent Reds signing needs time

Arthur has only had 14 minutes of Liverpool action, so it is way too early to judge him or make any conclusions.

But amid the criticism aimed at the Reds’ midfield this season, Arthur has a chance to truly make his mark.

The likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner have all been in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Indeed, Thiago’s return in the 2-1 Champions League win over Ajax added a sense of class and confidence.

If Aurelio’s prediction is right, Liverpool fans should feel excited about what Arthur can achieve in a red shirt.