Liverpool will reportedly go after another midfield signing in the January transfer window following the news about Arthur Melo and his injury.
The Reds signed the Brazilian from Juventus on loan in a deadline-day singing. Manager Jurgen Klopp had stressed that he did not want to sign a new midfielder, but soon changed his mind.
Although, it has proved a slow start for Arthur at Anfield. He has only played 13 minutes of first-team action, instead focusing on his fitness by hiring his own staff and playing for the Under-21s.
However, he did not make Tuesday’s Champions League squad against Rangers. And Klopp confirmed that he suffered a muscle injury in the build-up to the game.
But, after further assessment, Liverpool have learned that Arthur will be out for between three and four months.
Indeed, The Athletic reporter James Pearce has admitted is ‘devastating’ that the 26-year-old will need surgery on his injury.
Arthur will therefore play no further part with the Reds until 2023 – but exactly when remains unclear.
Liverpool have January transfer plan
According to transfer journalist Nicolo Schira, Liverpool will subsequently go after a new midfielder in January.
The reporter does not name any targets, but Liverpool have been linked with several names in recent weeks.
Lazio talisman Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has had mentions as a summer 2023 target. And Reds defender Joe Gomez could move to the Serie A club as part of a deal.
Flamengo’s Joao Gomes reportedly remains on Liverpool’s radar, while RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer – who is also a Bayern Munich target – could emerge as a Liverpool target in January.
Klopp confirmed this summer that he did try to make a more high-profile midfield signing in the window, only for the player to reject him.
Two players that could have been are Aurelien Tchouameni, who left Monaco for Real Madrid, or Matheus Nunes, who Wolves signed from Sporting.
Liverpool reportedly have plans to bolster their midfielder next summer. Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham has proved the most talked about target.
The 19-year-old England international will likely cost a British record transfer fee, but Real Madrid are in the hunt for him too.
Arthur Melo future looks bleak
As for Arthur’s situation at Liverpool, it is a terrible development for the Brazilian.
His agent had revealed how he worked hard on his fitness to try and get himself up to speed, aware that he could affect Liverpool’s stuttering form.
However, it has all come crashing down for Arthur.
And the injury just adds to the spotlight on Liverpool’s midfield woes. There were calls for a more high-profile signing this summer and critics now point to Klopp’s current situation in his engine room to back up claims of a mistake.
Arthur joins long-term absentees Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines. The duo are running down the final years of their contracts with their injuries.
And it remains to be seen if Arthur actually plays at all for Liverpool before the end of the season.
It could be four months out and then Klopp will not want to throw him back into action lightly. Don’t forget, he is not even a player who has been integrated into Premier League football yet.
That is a factor that must be kept in mind when assessing if the loan move will prove at least something of a success.