Lionel Messi’s glowing assessment of former Barcelona teammate Arthur Melo has resurfaced after Liverpool agreed to a loan deal for the Juventus midfielder.The duo shared two seasons together at the Blaugrana when Melo signed for the Catalans in 2018. The Brazil international registered 72 appearances across competitions in that time, scoring four goals and providing six assists.
Melo then parted ways with Barcelona and Lionel Messi in 2020 after completing a move to Juventus.
Lionel Messi compared Melo to his former Barcelona teammate Xavi in an interview in 2018. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner spoke about Barcelona’s 2018 summer transfer window signings. Speaking on Tot Costa, the Argentine said (via Sport):
“Those who came are very good. Arthur I didn’t know that much about but he seems similar to Xavi. He’s very safe and trustworthy. He has the La Masia style. Playing short passes, without losing the ball, and he grasped it quickly, the dynamic of the team.”
Liverpool began their search for a midfielder in the latter stages of the transfer window after manager Jurgen Klopp made a U-turn on his stance on the matter. The German boss admitted in a press conference, as per Fabrizio Romano:
“Yes, I am the one who said we don’t need a midfielder – and you were all right and I was wrong. Now we are going for a midfielder.”
According to the Italian transfer expert, Liverpool have now reached an agreement with Juventus for Arthur Melo on loan. The midfielder is reportedly set to complete his medical soon. Melo’s contract runs until June 2023, with no option to buy.Lionel Messi has seemingly found his footing as he started strong in the 2022-23 season for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The Argentina international has already scored three goals and provided four assists in five Ligue 1 encounters.
Former Barcelona assistant coach showers Lionel Messi with praise
Ajax head coach Alfred Schreuder has given an insight on working with Lionel Messi, praising the Argentine’s abilities.The Dutch manager had a short spell at Barcelona working as an assistant coach in the 2020-21 season. Schreuder lauded Messi for his leadership qualities. He also spoke about the dressing room atmosphere when the Argentine addressed his teammates.The Dutchman said (via Barca Universal):
“Messi at Barça was an absolute leader. Especially through his performances. But when he spoke before the game, everyone always remained totally quiet and just stared at him.”
“Messi is an absolute winner, an absolute winner. Fantastic to work with. After training the squad would do basketball sessions and winning was the only thing that mattered.”