BLOG ITALIA
Sunday June 28 2020
Juve win big with Arthur

As Juventus prepare to swap Miralem Pjanic for Barcelona’s Arthur Melo, Livio Caferoglu explains why the Bianconeri are getting by far the better end of the deal...

“I didn’t know much about Arthur before [he joined], but he’s really similar to Xavi,” Lionel Messi raved about Arthur Melo in September 2018, just two months after the midfielder left Gremio to join Barcelona. “He’s really safe and reliable [on the ball]. He has the style of a player that’s come through La Masia. He plays well over short distances, he doesn’t lose the ball… He’s got to grips really quickly with the team’s dynamic.”

Praise doesn’t come much higher than that. Not only did it come from arguably the greatest player in history, but Leo was comparing the Brazilian to arguably the game’s greatest metronome. Luis Enrique’s Barca, while hugely successful, were accused of betraying the club’s DNA after the departure of Xavi in 2015. His departure coincided with the last time the Blaugrana won the Champions League and, with no like-for-like replacement, their play under the former Roma boss increasingly bypassed the middle of the park.

Even with a front three of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, that was considered sacrilege. That all changed during the 2017-18 campaign, when Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain and Ousmane Dembele flattered to deceive in his place. Barca were markedly average for much of the season, their 3-0 defeat to Roma an unfortunate highlight, and they stepped up their search for a Xavi heir, tying up a €39m deal for Arthur, who had just won the Copa Libertadores with Gremio and was also wanted by PSG and Chelsea.

Ernesto Valverde had envisaged lining Arthur up in a midfield three with Sergio Busquets and Philippe Coutinho, who at the time had been backed to take over from Andres Iniesta. Although things didn’t quite pan out that way, the 23-year-old didn’t take long to make an impact. Not at least on his teammates, who quickly began queuing up with praise, from Rafinha saying he had ‘a touch of Xavi about him’ to Thomas Vermaelen stating he ‘has all the battling skills and technical ability to go right to the top’.

In two particular matches during his debut season at Camp Nou, he confirmed his credentials as a Xavi heir. First, he completed 135 of his 142 passes in 1-1 draw at Valencia to play the most successful balls in a Spanish league game away from home since his predecessor back in November 2012. He then followed that up in the Champions League, achieving a 98.6 percent pass completion rate with 71 successful passes out of 72 during a 5-1 rout of Olympique Lyonnais.

This term, however, he has been unfairly made a scapegoat by his club and new boss Quique Setien, who ludicrously suggested Arthur had failed to live up to expectations. While it’s fair to say Barca have endured a turbulent campaign by their lofty standards, levelling any sort of blame at the playmaker is absurd when you consider he has missed part of the season with injury and has always been a quiet cog. The problem lies with how the Catalans’ poor performances have forced him out of his comfort zone, hanging out to dry.

“Since Arthur has been with me, he has tried very hard to take on the things we’ve asked [of] him,” the coach argued. “Sometimes he has been lacking some consistency, but it is not easy to change things in a player which other coaches have said are very good. Arthur has been used to being told to make sure of holding the ball. Now we come in and say you should play one or two touches. He has found it a challenge, but he is on a good path. It will make him a better player.”

That may well be one area where Arthur needs to improve, but Setien’s credibility is quickly shot down when the player replacing him at Camp Nou is Miralem Pjanic, who needs even more time on the ball and - at 30, seven years older than the Brazilian - has been showing signs of slowing down for some time. It may be that he enjoys a new lease of life as one of the outside central midfielders in the Blaugrana’s 4-3-3, but that seems unlikely. As the old saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

So what are Juve getting? They’re not signing Jorginho, but rather the next best thing. Arthur will slot snuggly into Pjanic’s No 5 shirt, protected by two ‘mezz’ale’ beside him. He has the quality to dictate games with his precise passing and brilliant footballing brain for the next decade. Defensively, the ball sticks to him like a magnet and his signature move, whereby he pirouettes his way out of trouble with poise, will be a weekly sight to behold for Juve fans, relieved their club has finally brought in a competent ‘regista’.

Arthur made no secret of his desire to stay at Barca and the deal may be primarily motivated by financial incentives, amidst speculation that Juve are standing to pocket a ‘plusvalenza’ - or capital gain - of €47m, with Barca’s balance sheet set to benefit from a much-needed €49m, but one thing can’t be disputed: the Old Lady are not only significantly weakening a direct rival. They’re also significantly strengthening themselves.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow

Have your say...
No way do I want to see Federico be sold/exchanged.. maybe nor Adrien now either.. I'm sure that this is the third consecutive game where Sarri has chosen largely the very same 11.
It's so fitting that Gigi broke the Serie A record in the derby... on Giampiero Boniperti's birth date, and when Ronaldo broke a couple of records (first Juve player to score 25 in a Serie A season since 1961 and his first free kick for us).
I think we need to build around De Ligt, Bentancur and Dybala..Gigio D future
on the 5th July, 2020 at 10:18pm
If dreams came true and funds were almost unlimited:

Donnarumma
(Szczesny)

DeLigt-Bonucci-Alaba
(Danilo-Demiral-Chiellini)

Artur-Verratti-Bentancur
(Cuadrado-Jorginho-Rabiot)

Zaniolo-Dybala-Ronaldo
(Kulusevski-Bernadeschi-Ferran)

Kane
(Kaio)

But as this is impossible, I hope that at least Zaniolo will come in top of the already agreed transfers.
on the 5th July, 2020 at 5:22pm
Well done Pinturicchio. You perfectly describe yourself in your last comment.
on the 2nd July, 2020 at 3:03pm
One sugestion to football italia from me-You shoud change your CAPTCHA some of them are realy hard to see cos of d coloring.If its hard for me i dont wonna imagine how it is for a colorblinde person.
on the 1st July, 2020 at 5:57pm
Acording to Barca Artur is worth more then de Jong.
Acording to juventus he is worth as much as de Ligt.
Acording to me he is wortless flop that wont even smell pich under Sarri.
As juve fan i am sayin:this smells like shameless books fixing for both teams,if uefa handout some transfer bans it will be for d best cos this retard Paratici spends all juve monye on wortless flops that are downgrade to d players we had.he fakin turned us into a team that dont have CF, real midfield and proper RB LB
on the 1st July, 2020 at 5:54pm
Poor @Zambrotta84, never received a quality education, filled with cognitive dissonance, and cannot use Google Translate to improve himself.


Clearly not your Mommy's favourite child, or neglected far too often by entire family? Boohoo!


Go cry elsewhere, kid, your pathetic self is a massive waste of human space and trees deserve to give out oxygen to deserving humans than chumps with zer0 reading abilities and inexistent comprehension skills.
on the 1st July, 2020 at 9:02am
I think this is a bad move, but I could be proven wrong. I think he'll be a rotation player at best, and Juventus are just throwing money at players that have been hyped as big players (Ramsey, Rabiot, Can for example) when they're literally being used as rotation players and the skeleton of the squad has remained largely the same. I hope to be proven wrong.
on the 30th June, 2020 at 4:39pm
And again "but no one in their right mind is going to pay 50m for a guy who has flopped in 2 different clubs, you dumb rock." There is no if there. His Barca career is basically over, so you clearly claimed he flopped. Oh and the correct grammar is "has flopped AT two different clubs." Don't make me point out all your other grammar mistakes. ;)

And I'm not even a native English speaker... I guess trailer park elementary school isn't what it used to be, right?
on the 30th June, 2020 at 11:38am
@Pinturicchio Please, stop embarrassing yourself. I already explained why what you're saying doesn't make sense. So leave it at that. No shame in admitting you're wrong, but I guess you're too insecure for that.

I really pity how bitter you are. And seemingly so does everyone else here, but of course everyone's wrong and you're right. How frustrating your life must be. Like I said: pity.

And don't slight others for grammar mistakes when your own posts are full of typos and grammar mistakes.
on the 30th June, 2020 at 11:32am
@Tom
"so pls stop act like one"

Ouch, talk about irony - a neanderthal name-calling someone else. Grammar, you ever heard of it, chump?


@Zambrotta84
I already mentioned you clearly don't have a rat's idea about how to consolidate the Arthur-Pjanic SWAP deal, because these 2 deals are inter-linked - clearly your keyboard warrior is leaking on here.

PS: I mentioned IF Arthur flops, not that he will - basic education is lacking for you, nitwit.
on the 30th June, 2020 at 10:01am
Okay Zambrotta84 we get it, you're an accountant. Stop shoehorning every piece of accounting knowledge you have into all your posts just to make yourself look smarter. Obviously you know what you're talking about and Pinturicchio is talking out of his arse but we don't need an accountancy lesson on every post.
on the 30th June, 2020 at 9:33am
Ah @Pinturicchio, the sad lonely dumb clown who has no manners. It's amazing you're still here. A predictable little guy. We all know you're not smart, so pls stop act like one.
We know you despise Conte because he ditched your fav player Del Piero. Same with Allegri and Pjanic because they made your 2nd fav player Marchisio out. You hate Cuadrado so much because Paratici and Sarri prefers him to Joao Cancelo. And now you despise Zambrotta84 because he showed us your logic is flawed. LOL
on the 30th June, 2020 at 5:45am
Oh and about him flopping at Barca, you clearly said this, "but no one in their right mind is going to pay 50m for a guy who has flopped in 2 different clubs, you dumb rock."

Next time, try to remember your previous posts if that's not too hard. Must be tough for you at the trailer park's local elementary school.
on the 29th June, 2020 at 10:47pm
Anonymous, I never said I'm "Kurt"..!
But if you assigned me "Erick" (Who by the way is a REAL FIGHTER Dennis Alexio, and therefore much stronger than ACTOR Jean-Claude Van Damme...)
--Then I assign you "Mylee"!
(Remember Tong Po saying: "Mylee, good *..."?? HAHAHA)

I'm happy you watched the film --For action movie it has beautiful soundtracks & amazing locations. (New remakes are horrible...)

Nevertheless, our name calling is much more INVENTIVE than that of Pinturicchio & Zambrotta84! HAHAHA
on the 29th June, 2020 at 10:43pm
@Pinturicchio You're so far off. Your reasoning is so flawed from an accounting perspective, it's not even funny anymore. I'm not gonna try to explain. You sure don't have the faculties to understand anyway. And yeah, don't reply anymore because you know you can't win with actual arguments, and you'd only embarrass yourself more.

Have you ever considered suing your parents for denying you an education?
on the 29th June, 2020 at 10:41pm
@ Zambrotta84 - I've been an accountant for 12 years and you are correct. Players are considered assets and their cost is amortized over the length of the contract. A player can be sold at a loss or a gain. The proceeds from the sale of Pjanic would be probably reflected as a gain in the income statement, and would also be reflected in the cash flow statement in the year of sale; what Juventus does with the cash isn't really an accounting matter.
on the 29th June, 2020 at 9:27pm
@Zambrotta84


I see you not only have problems in basic comprehension but your brain's basically non-existent: I never said he flopped at Barca - that's what the article says, you numbskull!


I said IF he wouldn't live up to the expectations and didn't perform...


Boy I feel sorry for all the people who have ever talked to you in real life...
on the 29th June, 2020 at 8:34pm
@Zambrotta84

I'm gonna write one last comment before an insipid brainless twit like you can continue trolling.

Operating revenue, and profit margin are 2 different but inter-related things, you nincompoop. Profits are based on wins and losses of sales and contracts and bonuses, whereas operating revenue takes into account various factors like tickets sold, sponsorships, salaries et al.

When Arthur costs 16m per season to us, it's also taken into account how much sales we made. (Part 1/2)
on the 29th June, 2020 at 8:31pm
(Part 2/2) over how much money comes in due to various sales e.g. 12m per season for Pjanic's sale.


When Arthur is sold after 2 seasons, we will no longer pay his salary, so his fixed costs get shifted to another club, and we reduce our losses.


And my conjecture, which clearly flew right above your pea-brain, is that very few top clubs would pay break-even price i.e. 48m for his services. Assets depreciate (shove this accounting term in your waazoo) over time, so 20m is realistic.
on the 29th June, 2020 at 8:30pm
Pjanic was bought for 32 mill.....he was used for 4 years and for an extra 10 mill we get melo who can easily play 5 top years at Juve....this is not the purchase of a 45 mill Joao mario where after 3 years you are lucky to get 18 million in return - this is 42 mill of cash for a good midfielder for 9-10 years - this is a coup for Paratici and Juventus - very shrewd piece of work
on the 29th June, 2020 at 8:30pm
Totti hahaha you could never be van damme in that movie. You are more like his brother. The one who was beaten severely and had his back broken by Tong Po Hahahahah
on the 29th June, 2020 at 8:10pm
And who said he flopped at Barca? He played most of their games... Clearly nuance still isn't your forte. You really didn't buy that dictionary I told you to buy?
on the 29th June, 2020 at 7:45pm
2/2 If Juve would sell Arthur in two years for twenty million, there will still be 50 mil on the books for him, so roughly a 30 mil loss. If you think there will be any money lying around from Pjanic's sale, you're even dumber than you sound.

I don't expect your binary brain to grasp the subtleties of accounting, though.
on the 29th June, 2020 at 7:24pm
@Pinturicchio LOL you clearly know nothing about accounting. You don't amortize a cost with a sale. That statement doesn't make any sense. You clearly don't grasp what amortization is. A player is an asset on the accounts of a club, whose total value gets amortized over the duration of his contract. In Arthur's case, around 16 mil a year gets amortized. Once Pjanic is gone, there will be a profit for that year, which will be invested in something or used to balance the books (most likely).1/2
on the 29th June, 2020 at 7:23pm
@Zambrotta84: Clearly, logic isn't your forte... Or, maybe, a functional brain is clearly lacking in you.


While we have bought Arthur for 72m, we're going to amortize his cost with a 60m sale, you oaf...


If the costs are spread over 5 years, we're losing 42m if we sell him, having invested 28m, but no one in their right mind is going to pay 50m for a guy who has flopped in 2 different clubs, you dumb rock.


Most likely his price drops to 0.5x or worse, so 20m isn't unrealistic.
on the 29th June, 2020 at 5:34pm
Great to see Serie A attracting top talent to the league and not just players past their peak. Ronaldo has had a huge influence on this and to see the likes of De Ligt, Eriksen, Arthur, Hakimi, Lukaku coming to the league either in their prime or coming into their prime is brilliant. Lets hope it continues throughout the summer window and not too many Serie A stars leave
on the 29th June, 2020 at 4:05pm
Anyone watched AMAZING Kickboxer (1989) with Van Damme?
That scene where in hospital Taylor tells him: "You're NOT good enough..!"?
And crying Jean-Claude replies: "We'll see, we'll see..!"??

Well, that's my reply to Pinturicchio & y'all:

"WE'LL SEE..!"

(But you must imagine it in Jean-Claude's trembling voice, full with passion & determination; how he delivered the line in the movie..!)
on the 29th June, 2020 at 2:57pm
It should be a better deal for Juve overall - at least in the long-term.

He looked great the first time I saw him, but I haven't heard/seen much of him since.

Once his attitude is good (a major problem with so many modern players nowadays) he should do well. Zaniolo would be a great addition to Juve too, who need a complete midfield overhaul.

As for Barca, they seem to be losing their way a bit. Hopefully they don't get Martinez and Serie A can hold onto their better players.
on the 29th June, 2020 at 2:40pm
LOL. Some classic Pinturicchio logic! Selling Arthur after 2 seasons for 20 mil: no harm done? Are you insane? He'll be on our books for 80 mil, after two seasons of amortization he'll still be on the books for around 50 mil, so selling him or 20 million would be disastrous. I see it's not only words and decorum you struggle with; math and accounting aren't your friends either, are they?
on the 29th June, 2020 at 2:15pm
If the contracts have finally been signed and the money is locked down, I hope Bentancur will play in Pjanic's position for the remainder of this season. This simple strategic move will resolve a lot for Sarri.


Pjanic is not a Regista but his greatest asset to Juve is his sublime free kick ability but he rarely gets to take them and that has been such a waste. #Free kicks (1) CR7 wins them (2) Dybala takes all kicking positions from the right (3) Pjanic takes all from the center and the left#
on the 29th June, 2020 at 10:53am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Your data may be made public and you accept our Privacy Policy. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.