Football

Arthur Melo.

Xavi Hernandez discusses Barcelona fans likening Arthur Melo to him

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It's been no coincidence that Barcelona have experienced an upturn in form since Arthur Melo's inclusion in the starting lineup.

The Blaugrana failed to win in three La Liga games before the Brazilian midfielder was brought into the team for the Champions League game away at Tottenham.

Barca would go on to win that game 4-2 and have looked a different team since.

A 4-2 win over Sevilla, a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan and a 5-1 demolition of Real Madrid have all followed in recent weeks.

To say Arthur looks the real deal would be an understatement, with the former Gremio man yet to have a passing accuracy lower than 90% in any game he's featured in.

As such, the comparisons between Arthur and Barca legend Xavi Hernandez have been coming thick and fast.

But what does Xavi himself think about it all? Well, he's finally had his say on the comparisons.

“I see myself when I see Arthur on television," said Xavi on Catalunya Radio.

"He is a very quick thinker. He has a natural talent, but most of all, he has a lot of room to improve through training.

Arthur in action vs Cultural Leonesa

“Arthur is already a mature player and I see that he has massive untapped potential.

"The priority during any match is to never lose the ball and he comes out of a tricky situation with ease. He has a strong personality already."

Praise doesn't come much higher.

If arguably the finest midfielder of his generation is saying that, you know you're doing a lot of things right.

Xavi with Al Saad

However, the Spaniard - who is currently playing in Qatar with Al Saad - handed a word of warning to Arthur.

“He needs at least 20 more matches in order to show all his resources," he added. "He has impressive shooting skills and he will do a lot more for the team once he gets more confidence.

“Take Abidal for example, when he arrived in Barcelona he only did a couple things right. But through hard work and dedication during practice, he became the best defender in the world.

“Nothing comes easy at a club like FC Barcelona because playing at that club means that you are going through the [biggest test] of your career.

Arthur's presentation day

"In a club like this, you have to do at least two hundred things that you wouldn’t normally do at other clubs.”

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Barcelona

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