Barcelona star Lionel Messi believes the club now have a player similar to legendary midfielder Xavi in the form of summer signing Arthur.
The 22-year-old moved to the Nou Camp from Brazilian club Gremio this summer and looks an impressive prospect in the middle of the park with his passing and creativity.
However, comparisons with one of the finest players of his generation in Xavi are unlikely to be helpful for a youngster playing at the top level in Europe for the first time.
Barcelona could certainly do with the Brazil youth international stepping up for them this season after the blow of losing both Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the last few years.
Messi certainly seems to rate Arthur highly from the little he’s seen of him so far, so fans will hope the Argentine’s judgement is sound and that by this point in his career he’s likely to know a good player when he sees one, considering the big names he’s played alongside.
When discussing the club’s summer signings on Catalan radio, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo, Messi spoke of how Arthur stood out, saying: ‘If I have to quote one, I’ll stay with Arthur , who surprised me because I did not know him very much.
‘Saving the distances, has a style very similar to Xavi’s , always wants the ball, does not lose it, plays in short, is very reliable and very safe.’