Well, after a solid three years of complaining incessantly about just how bad their club’s midfield is, it looks like Juventus fans have finally got what they wanted:
A really, really, really good midfielder.
And Juve are acquiring such a midfielder by shipping off a player who fans have complained incessantly about for the past 12 months – Miralem Pjanic – in the other direction.
As reported by, you know, absolutely everyone, Juventus are set to sign Arthur Melo for a rather substantial fee of €80m from Barcelona – before selling Pjanic to Barça (or as Juve fans now call them: ‘that big pile of suckers’) for around €65m at a later date. That will mean that La Vecchia Signora will have gotten rid of an overrated, over-30, overpaid, over-the-hill midfielder, and replaced him with an underrated, under-24, undervalued, unbelievable midfielder for around €15m.
So yes, in every conceivable way, this is a win-win situation for La Vecchia Signora.
Because Arthur Melo isn’t just a bargain, and he isn’t just a whole lot better than Pjanic – he is exactly the type of player that you have been waiting for ever since Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo left the club.
A marquee midfielder.
Having been heavily linked with Tanguy Ndombele, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and co. ever since the aforementioned players left the club, only instead to opt for free transfers to plug the holes in the midfield, Juventus have finally heeded the calls of their fans: THEY’VE ACTUALLY INVESTED IN THEIR MIDFIELD.
And although nothing’s a guaranteed in football, it seems that the signing of Melo this summer is as close to a sure thing you could get because, quite simply, Arthur Melo is the perfect Sarriball player. Tactically intelligent, an incisive passer of the ball, able to turn defence into attack with one quick Cruyff turn, Melo is absolutely everything Maurizio Sarri could want in a midfield anchor; and then some.
Oh and to top it all off, he’s only 23 years old.
It can’t be underestimated just how much this one signing will change the complexion of the Juventus midfield. Once thought to be the team’s Achilles heel – and a bloody old one at that – Juve’s midfielder, with Arthur in the deep-lying role alongside Rodrigo Bentancur and a (hopefully) fully-fit Aaron Ramsey, instantly looks more youthful, more energetic, and infinitely more dynamic than it has for quite some time.
Juve’s midfield could go from a weakness to (whisper it) a strength. Who thought that was every going to happen, eh?
To put it bluntly, this is a big signing for the club – one which could have a positive impact in the short, medium and long term. Seriously, it’s time to get excited Juventini. Go out and write ‘Arthur’ or ‘Melo’ (whichever you prefer) on the back of your replica home jersey right now.