TORINO – Between some ailments and not being Quique’s first choice Setien, who took over Valverde on the Barcelona bench on 13 January, the season of Arthur in Barcelona it was less sparkling than the past, the first. Yet he is the third player in La Liga for steps taken, the eighth for passes towards the opposing trocar and the third for fouls suffered (Wyscout data). Which gives a fairly clear measure of the player’s value. And also of its characteristics.
«Arthur is an ideal dribbler for Sarri», assured Tuttosport Ariedo Braida a couple of months ago, when we told you about the first stages of the negotiation that is ending. The historic Milan manager, Barcelona manager until last September and in charge when the Blaugrana bought Arthur, explained: «He has excellent technique, very good in dribbling and moving the ball in the short, with one-two touches». Just the type of game that the Juventus coach prefers. And that the Brazilian interprets in a natural and excellent way. In addition to being, with 72.09, the third player for the average number of passes per game behind his teammates Busquets (83.59) e Jordi Alba (73.64), Arthur is also among the most accurate with 92% of successful passes. Among the top 10 by number of passes made, the only ones to have a better percentage, and in any case by just one point, 93%, are his other companions Piquet is Lenglet (who, however, being central defenders make passes with a lower risk index) and Kroos of Real Madrid. A precision that certainly does not arise from the propensity to carry out trivial games. As said Arthur is also eighth for the direct passes to the opposing trocar, 10.05 per game (the first is Banega of Sevilla with 13.85), therefore he loves to verticalize and he can do it effectively. Also in this case, among the top 10 of the La Liga for passages made only Kroos boasts a higher precision: 91% against 88%.
Further confirmation of Arthur’s technical qualities is his third place in the ranking of fouls suffered, 3.06 per game that only put him behind Rafinha of Celta (4,21) e Fekir of Betis (3.61). A quality dispenser and an accelerator of the maneuver: this is what Arthur is. And coincidentally, the lack of speed in moving the ball is one of the flaws that Sarri has most often underlined on his team. Arthur will help solve it. Not playing in place of Pjanic, where Bentancur will probably move, but more likely from midfielder: in Barça he does it mainly on the left (see heatmap alongside), but he can also play right as he has often done in Brazil.