Premier League • England

Liverpool stunned, with star who flopped sensationally labelled ‘best player in league’ at new club

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Arthur Melo has shone since leaving Liverpool

Liverpool will be fuming as their former midfielder Arthur Melo has incredibly been called ‘the best player in Serie A’ amid his return to form away from Anfield.

Arthur joined the Reds on a season-long loan in September 2022 after Jurgen Klopp had missed out on top targets such as Aurelien Tchouameni and Jude Bellingham. Arthur was signed to help ease a midfield crisis, with Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain among those who had picked up injuries.

Given Arthur’s pedigree – he had spent two years at Barcelona before joining Juventus in 2020 – he was expected to play a vital role for Liverpool and help them fight for silverware on multiple fronts. However, he went on to have a hugely disappointing spell at Anfield.

The Brazilian made just one appearance for Liverpool – a 13-minute cameo against Napoli in the Champions League – before picking up a thigh injury. He needed surgery to resolve the issue and went on to miss several months of the campaign.

Even when Arthur returned to fitness, he had fallen so far down the pecking order that Klopp did not give him any more game time.

He returned to parent club Juve over the summer, as Liverpool understandably opted against activating their £33million option to buy him. Juve soon loaned him out again, this time to fellow Serie A side Fiorentina.

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So far, Arthur has made 29 appearances for Fiorentina, having shown fitness levels Liverpool fans could only have dreamed of during his time on Merseyside.

The 27-year-old is yet to score his first Fiorentina goal, though he has chipped in with two assists.

Agent ‘very happy’ for ex-Liverpool player

Arthur’s agent, Federico Pastorello, has now heaped praise on his client, claiming him to be arguably the best player in Italy right now.

“I am very happy for Arthur,” he said in an interview with Tuttosport. “Last year was a difficult season for him from all points of view. He landed at Liverpool at the end of the transfer window, thus missing the preparation, he then suffered a major injury.

“Fiorentina were good at seeing the opportunity. Juventus had to cover part of the salary to revive him and today Arthur is maybe the best player in the league.”

When asked about Fiorentina’s €20m (£17m) option to buy Arthur at the end of his loan, Pastorello added: “I’d say (he’s worth) even higher. It (the clause) was put in because it was the right thing to do, then there’s also the issue of salary because it doesn’t fall within the Viola’s budget. But we’re only halfway through the adventure.

“We are focused on continuing like this, then at the end of the season we will draw conclusions. I can only say one thing: Arthur feels great in Florence, even off the pitch the fans welcomed him in an extraordinary way. And this as a former Juventus player, so it was not at all obvious.”

Clearly, this is Pastorello hyping up his client as much as possible to ensure there is plenty of interest come the summer, while also trying to convince Fiorentina to buy him. Although, a lot of praise must be given to Arthur, as he has shown a brilliant mentality to overcome his Liverpool heartbreak and become an integral player at his new club.

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