Juventus clearly ripped off Barcelona in the Arthur, Pjanic swap

Arthur Melo (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Arthur Melo (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Juventus has finally swapped Miralem Pjanic for Arthur Melo.

For the last month, Juventus and Barcelona had been hard at work at the bargaining table. Regista Miralem Pjanic was viewed as surplus by the Old Lady, fading as the season wore on, and he wanted to leave Turin anyway. Juve had only one player on their minds from Barcelona in Arthur Melo, but it took some time to convince the Brazilian midfielder.

Finally, Arthur said “yes” after some convincing, including from former Barcelona and Juventus star Dani Alves, and the swap deal went ahead. Of course, there was a gap in valuation price between Pjanic and Arthur, given that Arthur is several years younger.

But they bridged that gap. And much to the delight of Bianconeri fans, the cash Juve must part ways with pales in comparison to the actual gap in value between the two players. According to a report from Sky Italia’s Fabrizio Romano, via B/R Football on Twitter, the Old Lady will give a mere 10 million euros to La Blaugrana.

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It’s a dream swap deal for Juventus. As Pjanic’s recent play has shown the Bianconeri faithful, the 30-year-old is no longer a player the club can put their faith in. Between the two Coppa Italia games and the Serie A match at Bologna, Pjanic has been the team’s least effective player. He’s been even worse recently than Adrien Rabiot, who should also leave the team this summer.

Is Pjanic a poor player? No. When he’s at his best, he’s an asset on set pieces and one of the world’s best passers. His technical quality is fantastic, and he was great for Juventus at the start of the season. But the Black and Whites need to get younger in the center of the park, as Rodrigo Bentancur requires another robust partner in crime.

He has that man in Arthur. A solid defender and an excellent ball-carrying midfielder, Arthur is just 23 years old and as well-rounded as they come. In Bentancur and Arthur, Juve now have two great young midfielder who can do a little bit of everything and will probably be among the best midfielders in Europe in a couple of years when they enter their prime.

Arthur is already probably a better player than Pjanic, when comparing how the two have played this season. So far in their league seasons, Arthur has more assists and the same number of goals despite playing more than 500 fewer minutes. Per WhoScored.com, Arthur averages far more dribbles per game and fouls per games, though Pjanic has the advantage in key passes and in all defensive stats.

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Bentancur will likely fill the regista role, allowing Arthur to be more of the box-to-box midfielder. A far more incisive player, Arthur can provide exciting combination play for forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, who have been in need of more service. For a mere 10 million euros, Juve have made a sensational long-term upgrade to their midfield that they so desperately needed.