We 'signed' Arthur Melo for Arsenal in January transfer window and he was a big upgrade

By Nathan Bliss & Lewis Barton

Arsenal are currently in talks to bring Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo to the Emirates Stadium this month, as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his midfield options.

Arthur has been a long-term target of Arsenal and technical director Edu, with talks having previously been held with the player several months ago after the midfielder has failed to settle at Juventus. football.london understands that Arsenal are hopeful of signing the Brazilian on loan until the end of the season.

Mikel Arteta currently has Albert Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka as his only senior midfield options with Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey at AFCON, and Xhaka is currently out of the squad after his positive Covid-19 test.

Arthur signed for Barcelona in 2918 from Gremio before making the switch to Juventus in 2020, but the midfielder has only made 29 Serie A appearances as he's struggled to nail down a starting spot.

So, if Arthur was to make the move to Arsenal in January, what sort of impact could he have on Arteta's side?

We simulated the rest of the season with Arthur in the Gunners' squad and this is what happened.

We 'signed' Arthur Melo for Arsenal in January 2022

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Arthur to join Arsenal at the start of the January 2022 transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation.

This is how Arthur's in-game profile looks on FM22.

Arthur Melo's in-game profile on FM22 (Football Manager 2022)

Arthur has a very strong profile on FM22, with the midfielder's technical stats a major standout from the rest.

Known for liking to dictate the tempo of the game - a trait needed in the Arsenal midfield - Arthur is rated 18 out of 20 for his passing, 17 out of 20 for his agility and balance, and 16 out of 20 for his technique, concentration and first touch.

Let's take a look at how Arthur performed throughout the second half of the 2021/22 season after signing for Arsenal in January 2022.

Arthur's stats from the 2021/22 simulated season with Arsenal (Football Manager 2022)

Arthur managed to make 19 appearances in a midfield role for Arsenal in all competitions, managing an impressive five goals and eight assists in that time. He averaged an extremely high rating of 7.67 per game in all competitions as well, the highest in the Arsenal squad.

He won the Player of the Match award six times with his highest rating in a game being 9.5, and the Gunners won 14 out of the 19 games he played in. At the end of the 2021/22 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Arsenal XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.

This is what Arsenal's best XI looked like at the end of the 2021/22 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022:

Arsenal's best XI with Arthur (Football Manager 2022)

Full Arsenal best XI (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Odegaard, Arthur; Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli; Lacazette.

Despite only being at the club for a couple of months, Arthur slotted into a very attacking double-pivot in midfield alongside Martin Odegaard, with the likes of Partey, Xhaka and Sambi Lokonga all missing out.

When compared to the other midfielders at the club, Arthur had a standout season as he averaged the best rating per game.

Arsenal's midfielders stats compared to Arthur (Football Manager 2022)

Arthur had the second most goals and assists out of the midfielders in just 18 appearances, with only Odegaard grabbing more.

The Brazilian midfielder won the Player of the Match award five times, three more times than the second-best midfielder at the club, and he also had by far the best average rating - his 7.65 much higher than Odegaard's 7.2.

So, how did Arsenal perform in the league and cup competitions after signing Arthur in the January transfer window?

Arsenal's results from the 2021/22 simulation

Arsenal lost to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi finals on FM22 (Football Manager 2022)

The Gunners were knocked out in the Carabao Cup semi finals against Liverpool, with the 3-0 defeat in the first leg proving costly as the Gunners lost 3-0 on aggregate.

Goals from Diogo Jota, Jordan Henderson and Layton Stewart handed Liverpool the 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium, sending them through to the final where they beat Chelsea on penalties.

So, how did the Gunners do in the Premier League?

Arsenal finished fourth in the league with Arthur in the side (Football Manager)

Arsenal finished the season in fourth place, guaranteeing them UEFA Champions League football for the next season. Arteta's side accumulated 73 points over the course of the Premier League season, just one more than Man United in fifth place.

The simulation predicted Chelsea would end up being the Premier League winners, with Liverpool finishing second and Man City finishing fourth.

Football Manager predicts that if Arsenal were to sign Arthur Melo in January, his addition in midfield could prove vital to Arsenal's season, with his consistent and high level of performance helping guide the Gunners to a top-four Premier League finish in the simulation.

Would you like to see Arthur Melo sign for Arsenal? Let us know in the comments!

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