This is a deal that has progressed rapidly over the past 24 hours, which just so happens to be rather important with Arsenal only having two senior midfielders to choose from in January.
Allowing Ainsley Maitland-Niles to join Roma on loan for the remainder of the season has left Mikel Arteta with only Albert Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka to select from while Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are away at AFCON, a decision that comes at a pivotal point in the season.
Preparing for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final with Liverpool on Thursday, Arsenal know they are 180 minutes from another Wembley showpiece. Sandwiching those matches is the small matter of a North London Derby.
These are three huge games.
Arsenal: 4 positives & negatives of Arthur loan signing as Mikel Arteta eyes Juventus midfielder on deal until the end of the season
Confirming that he is actively seeking solutions to the current dilemma, Arteta and co have started making progress on a deal to sign Arthur Melo on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Out of favour under Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus, Arthur is available for transfer this month and negotiations are underway to bring him to north London on a simple loan.
Various reports state that it Arsenal would cover his weekly wages – thought to be between £100k and £125k – and that I Bianconeri are happy to let him go as soon as they source a replacement. As per Goal, they shouldn’t have any issue doing so.
It’s a deal that is moving fast, and given Arsenal’s urgency it’s understandable, although at this stage nothing is signed, sealed or delivered.
Arthur hasn’t light Turin up since his move there from Barcelona. There are definite reservations about this deal. However, how about looking at how this can work as well as why it might not the best of ideas moving forward? Let’s discuss both sides of the coin, starting with the negatives.
1. Arthur Doesn’t Have the Best Reputation
We’re not talking multiple bookings for dissent, sadly. That would be favourable. Instead, Arthur is known for being…well, a bit of an idiot off the pitch.
In in 2019 he was out partying with former Barca star Neymar, just 48 hours before a Copa del Rey match against Real Madrid, sparking some fury within Blaugrana quarters.
Then in August of 2020 he was charged with drink driving as he neared his impending move to Juventus from Barcelona, crashing his Ferrari into a streetlight after mounting the footpath at 4AM.
Last April, Paulo Dybala, Arthur and Weston McKennie were fined for breaking Covid restrictions when a they attended a party at McKennie’s house, and the tag of being a bit of an idiot off the pitch has stuck with him. He crashed his car again back in September.
Can people change? Will new scenery be exactly what he needs to refocus and put his full attention into playing football? Maybe. Ray Parlour used to go out on the lash the night before matches, he just didn’t get caught.
But these are different times under a different manager. Arteta never drifts from his non-negotiables and you can be absolutely certain that any similar behaviour would have serious implications.
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