I bet you are reading the title of the article and assuming it is a typo, but it is not. Presenting to you, Juventus’ new utility midfielder and jack of all trades, Arthur Vidal.
If I haven’t sold you on Arthur, who shares a name with this guy:
Then maybe I should mention some of the drama that surrounds him. It was reported that Arthur at first did not want to come to Juventus. It was then reported that Barcelona were forcing him to accept the deal that would see Pjanic head to Juventus and Arthur to Juventus. Eventually, Arthur accepted and the parties finalized the deal. As the situation progressed, which was clearly not the healthiest of relationships, Arthur then refused to play for Barca for the remainder of the season; eventually coming to a resolution with Barca to start training with Juventus earlier than expected. The list does not end there, Arthur was involved in a few other incidents as described by AS. (https://en.as.com/en/2020/08/17/football/1597665657_883897.html) According to the article, Barcelona outcast Arthur caught drink driving after Ferrari crash, Arthur was also went on a snowboarding trip in February, while injured, and also attended Neymar’s birthday, days before El Clasico.
This all happened before the latest incident involving him; his drunk driving incident. Now at this point the details of the incident are just making things worse. At the young age of 24 years old, Arthur Melo, has quickly made a name for himself in a way similar to maybe all the noise surrounding current Juve player, Adrien Rabiot. Big difference is, Rabiot was not being questioned about his off field partying and irresponsible off field lifestyle.
The comparison to Arturo Vidal is simply based on their off field behavior. Arturo Vidal was involved in his fair share of off field drama. During Vidal’s time at Juve, there were various times in which he had incidents involving alcohol. That is something according to rumors, was not something Juventus management cared for plus the injury concerns they had with him, which promoted the future sale to Bayern Munich. That sale eventually worked out very well for only Bayern and Vidal because for one, Bayern received a worldclass box to box midfielder that could score and assist, and then sprint across the field to slide tackle someone. However he was on the decline physically, and his off field antics were not something Juve liked. The similarities so far to most Juventini remain mainly off the pitch, which is just the typical disappointing news we are so used to these days. Arthur has not played a single minute for Juventus yet, and this transfer went from possibly promising, to looking like it might be a fail on our management' part. The biggest worry we can have as Juventus fans is that Arthur continues to get into trouble off field. If that is the case it is very likely this is Arthur’s first and last season at Juventus. Hopefully it is more of an issue that he had with Barcelona and it is an isolated incident. While the tone may have started off comical, it quickly has changed. This is not something really to be laughing at. What seemed to be a promising deal for Juventus, may have quickly turned into a nightmare. Now let’s look at the deal from a financial perspective for a moment. On June 29th, 2020, Juventus announced the following news via Juventus.com : “Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that these agreements have been finalised with FC Barcelona: A definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Arthur Henrique Ramos De Oliveira Melo for a consideration of € 72 million payable in four financial years. The purchase value may increase of maximum € 10 million on achieving given conditions during the course of the contract. Juventus and the player have signed a 5-year contract of employment valid until 30 June 2025. A definitive disposal of the registration rights of the player Miralem Pjanić for a consideration of € 60 million payable in four financial years. The consideration may increase of further € 5 million on achieving given conditions during the course of the contract. The economic effect is positive for about € 41.8 million, net of solidarity contribution and auxiliary expenses.”
Juventus essentially swapped Pjanic and 17 million euros for Arthur. Now in terms of economical value, I think this deal is amazing. Arthur is 24 years old, while Pjanic is 30 years old. According to rumors and speculation, Arthur will most likely play as the deepest midfielder and he will occupy the same space as Pjanic. You have lowered the age of the midfield already and have acquired a player that has potential to grow, as to Pjanic who is on the decline. Also if Arthur is not a fit, or they want to move on from him, there will be resale value given his young age.
However let us digest the information above. Arthur in the span of about 6 months was involved in multiple situations that speak volumes about an individual's character. Playing devil's advocate, we can say that the environment at Barcelona Football Club has to do with Arthur’s reaction especially given he wanted to stay at the club and was forced out. Now if we use that argument, why did Juventus pursue a player that clearly did not want to join them? Was this deal simply to benefit the books? The situations surrounding the player are clearly something to be concerned about and given Juventus’ culture, it is hard to believe any of that behavior will be accepted.