Juventus: Why Arthur Melo will benefit the most from Max Allegri

Juventus, Arthur Melo (Photo by Claudio Villa./Getty Images)
Juventus, Arthur Melo (Photo by Claudio Villa./Getty Images) /

Juventus center midfielder Arthur Melo had some nice moments, but his first season in Turin did not really go to plan. Beyond the matches he missed for various reasons, including a pesky injury, Arthur could not integrate into the team and failed to fit the kind of football Andrea Pirlo evidently wanted from his midfielders.

Arthur did a great job of keeping the ball and dribbling out of tight spots, which is more than what I can say for some of his teammates. But aside from his dribbling skills, Arthur was lacking in terms of creating anything tangible for the team. Whereas Weston McKennie popped up with goals and Adrien Rabiot could have the occasional moment of brilliance to supplement some rugged defending, Arthur could not make progressive passes or truly create in the final third.

There are a number of players who stand to benefit from Max Allegri’s reappointment as Juventus manager, and I have a feeling most Juventini have the incredible Paulo Dybala at the top of that list. But the truth is, Dybala would be great under any manager. He was even great under Pirlo, it’s just that we did not get to see much of that greatness due to injury.

When it comes to a player who can improve significantly under Allegri next season, I have my eye on Arthur the most. The former Barcelona man is the kind of footballer who has the technique and capability to play intelligently that Allegri can make the most of.

Max Allegri can maximize Arthur’s talents in midfield, just as he has helped past midfielders on Juventus

Allegri already has his defensive players. If he signs Manuel Locatelli, he has his playmaker and a midfielder who can read the game defensively in an exquisite manner. So Arthur becomes sort of his X-Factor. The guy who can string plays together with the ball at his feet, make something out of nothing in escaping the press, and, hopefully, become a source of goals and goal-creation.

Arthur was spoken of highly by Barcelona fans, who were not happy that the club traded the promising midfielder for an over-the-hill Miralem Pjanic, who is now being linked back to Juventus just one summer later.

Pjanic is an obvious no-go for Juve, no matter how much the papers try to make us think Allegri wants him back. To me, Locatelli is the guy you go out and sign as the high-level addition to the midfield, and Arthur is the ball-carrying midfielder you keep and maximize.

Very few managers in world football can get more out of a midfielder than Allegri. We saw him do that in the 2018-2019 season during his last stint with the Bianconeri, and he might actually have more to work with now, especially if Arthur is healthy and a guy like Locatelli, Donny van de Beek, Ryan Gravenberch, or Houssem Aouar moves to Turin.

Arthur is still a very young midfielder at 24 when you consider his playing style and where he wins. He has much to learn. Allegri is great at relating to players and is a real teacher. Pirlo was a great regista, but he still has not learned the art of managing. Whereas Allegri has that down pat. He has the ability to show Arthur what is needed and get the man to play with the right balance of confidence and precision.

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The best midfielders, whether we are talking about Toni Kroos or Kevin de Bruyne, know how to buy time with close-control before making the best possible pass to either directly or eventually create a shot. Arthur needs to figure that out, and I think Allegri gives him more of a chance at that than any other manager he has ever worked with to this point in his fledgling career. And that makes me excited for the growth we could see from the Brazilian in 2021-2022.