The key reasons behind Arthur's rapid improvement at Barça this season

The Brazilian midfielder has taken his physical, technical and tactical ability to another level

arthur
Arthur, en una acción en el partido de Champions League ante el Inter de Milán | AFP

Arthur Melo continues to progress at FC Barcelona. Already at the start of this season, he's improvement on a physical, technical and tactical level is clear for all to see. The Brazilian's performances have been one of the most positive aspects from Barça's inconsistent start to the season. Despite still being just 23 years of age, his budding partnership with Frenkie de Jong means the supporters are dreaming of what the pair can produce together.

Joaquim Piera

@joaquimpiera

1. Quick adaptation

It's extremely difficult for footballers coming from South America to adapt to a club such as FC Barcelona. Most usually join another side in Europe before making the step up to the elite. Arthur, like Neymar before him, has made that transition without any problems. Perhaps some parts of the fan base owe him an apology. Many didn't expect him to arrive and slot in another most established names and produce a style of football you expect to see from a La Masia graduate. His fine start to life at Barça then made others forget that a period of adaptation was going to happen at some point. Arthur made one or two poor choices away from the pitch but injuries disrupted his initial success. Now he's learnt his lessons and got his fitness under control, we're seeing the best version of Arthur.

2. Copa América                             

Since Brazil won the Copa America, it's been seen as a key moment in Arthur's career. He started every match at the tournament - except the opener as Tite didn't want to risk him - and completed 90 minutes on five occasions, something he couldn't manage at Barcelona. Arthur's performances were also of the highest quality and, without star man Neymar, he helped the side beat Argentina in the semi-finals and then Peru in the final. After missing the cut for the World Cup in Russia, Arthur is now one of the first names on the team sheet for Brazil.

3. No more injury concerns    

After being allowed sufficient time to rest and then build up his fitness, Arthur has recovered from the discomfort he was feeling throughout the second part of the season with Barça. Valverde was forced to take him off in practically every LaLiga contest as of a result of this. Arthur was given the first two weeks of the season off to ensure he was protected for the upcoming campaign. The Brazilian lives a healthy lifestyle and is always open to new ideas and suggestions from the coaching and fitness teams.

4. More involved in the final third

Arthur often played with the fear of not wanting to make mistakes. Valverde at Barça and Tite for Brazil, have asked him to remove those defensive shackles and take more risks. They want him to try and find those clinical passes, to get into the area and take shots on goal. Arthur finished last season with one assist to his name but after just two months has already scored two golazos, as well as provided two assists. The midfielder hasn't put a specific objective for his offensive stats but he's confident he can be more involved in the final third this year.

5. Earned the respect of his teammates

Arthur has successfully won over the senior members of the dressing room. Whilst not necessary to succeed, it helps to have the important players in your corner for whatever comes in the future. Arthur's rise to the top is sensational. In 2016, when he wasn't being selected by Gremio, he asked to leave. Three years later and he's won the Libertadores, being named MVP of the final, a starter for Brazil and helped win his first international title, and is now learning from the best player in the world at Barça.

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