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Concern at Barcelona over Arthur's injury woes

The club acknowledge that Arthur's injuries are a fly in the ointment for the great hopes they had for the Brazilian when he arrived two years ago.

Gorka LeizaDIARIO AS

Since Arthur Melo arrived in Barcelona two years ago, his name has been associated with two things: Xavi Hernandez and injuries. The Brazilian has been compared to the legendary former player and not without merit. His style of play is similar along with the way he distributes and protects the ball too.

These comparisons, at first generated a lot of hope and hype around the player. Recently, however, those hopes have dimmed somewhat given his lack of consistenty. In fact, at the start of the season, Ernesto Valverde asked for a more vertical Arthur and was hoping for more ambition in front of goal. It seems the 22-year-old listened because he scored against Osasuna and Villarreal at the start of the season.

The player has not yet arrived yet though in the manner Barcelona thought he would. This season, there was belief he would be the third midfielder alongside Busquets and De Jong but he has seen himself fall behind because of the same inconsistency and injuries. His best form came back in September when he played three 90 minutes in a row (Villarreal, Getafe and Inter). That run was just an illusion though because with time he started to play less regularly and gave way to more experienced players like Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.

A big part of the problem is his injuries. The first came last season when he missed a month with a hamstring injury. That was followed by an injury to his pubis, which seems like it has no end.

These pubis injuries started at the end of last season and have still not healed. In fact, right not he is out indefinitely with no timetable for his return. The club's intention is to wipe out this injury for once and for all and not allow him to return until it's gone. The problem with the pubis is that it can be chronic and difficult to heal. The player is undergoing a special plan that could alleviate the issue in a couple of weeks. That might mean a return to play at the beginning of next year but there's not certainty in that either.


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