REVEALED: Liverpool loanee Arthur Melo is being put through a rigorous training programme to get fully fit… as Jurgen Klopp confirms the midfielder is part of his plans despite speculation he would return to Juventus in January
Liverpool’s summer signing from Juventus Arthur Melo is undergoing a rigorous training programme in a bid to fit into Jurgen Klopp’s first team plans.
Arthur has asked to play for the club’s U21s and is doing double sessions as he tries to get up to speed with his new team-mates following a disrupted pre-season.
Liverpool moved to sign the 26-year-old on loan from Juventus on deadline day after captain Jordan Henderson suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle United the previous evening.
Arthur Melo is undergoing a rigorous training programme to get fully fit after joining Liverpool
The deal for the Brazilian entails a £3.9m loan fee with an option to make the move permanent next summer for £32m. However, after so far being afforded just 13 minutes of first team action, as a substitute in Liverpool’s 4-1 Champions League drubbing in Napoli, reports surfaced in Italy last week that Klopp had already decided Arthur could not cut it at Anfield and would be sent back in January.
Liverpool though were quick to dismiss this while Arthur is doubly determined to make an impression at his new club.
The performance in Naples prompted a frank dressing room inquest at Liverpool with Klopp and his players recognising they had ‘lost their attitude of the past’ and were not aggressive enough on or off the ball; their intensity had to change.
Arthur, mindful that his pre-season had been disrupted as he waited for a transfer away from Juventus, spoke with coaching staff and acknowledged he would put in extra work to ensure Klopp could count on him.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed Arthur is part of his plans despite playing just 13 minutes so far
The former Barcelona player readily admitted he was not where he wanted to be fitness-wise but double training sessions and extra gym work have helped him make up ground in recent days.
Indeed, Liverpool staff were so pleased with his application that Klopp and his coaches congratulated him after a session early last week and offered further words of encouragement as he shows greater understanding of their demands and system.
Arthur in turn has asked if he can gain extra playing time with the club’s U21s. He has also shunned extra days off during the forthcoming international break and has asked to stay instead to train every day.
‘Arthur needs now just football – and training, especially, that’s how it is,’ said Klopp. ‘He wasn’t in team training for a while at Juve, so he needs proper team training and that’s what we are doing with him. Can he play minutes? Yes. Should he play a full game? No, because he needs to get used to the intensity in each competition.
‘It’s not like in the Champions League you have to work less than in the Premier League. Not at all, especially not here. He is doing well, he is really giving his absolute all in training, we have to be careful with him as well and then we will see whether we can use him.’
Liverpool moved to sign the 26-year-old midfielder on loan from Juventus on deadline day
Though he has had little time yet to get to see much of Liverpool, Arthur is leaning on the friendship of teammates Alisson and Thiago to help adjust to the city and has moved into a new house. He has also brought over his mother and father Lucia and Ailton, brother Paulo and girlfriend Carolina Miarelli as he looks to acclimatise quickly.
He is hopeful of being in contention when Liverpool face Brighton after the break on October 1 and remains determined to make the move a successful one after growing frustrated under Massimiliano Allegri, who is under threat of the sack at Juventus, He is hopeful of being in contention when Liverpool face Brighton after the break on October 1.
Liverpool’s supporters have been demanding new faces to freshen up their midfield options and, regardless of Arthur’s progress, the Anfield club still intend to strengthen next year with Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham their prime objective.
Arthur played 90 minutes for Liverpool U21s on Saturday as they beat Leicester City 1-0. Fabio Carvalho also played the full game.