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Messi testifies to goodness of Liverpool new boy Arthur

Liverpool have on their hands a midfielder of top quality in Arthur and one who compares to one of the best midfielders in the world over the last 25 years, according to Lionel Messi.

The Reds swooped to sign Arthur on a season-long loan for Juventus on deadline day. The move came out of nowehere, with Liverpool’s interest in the player only reported a matter of hours before the signing was sealed. The 26-year-old moves to Anfield until summer 2023, when the Reds have an option to make the move permanent.

According to reports from the Juventus end, Liverpool’s option for Arthur is set at £32.3m (€37.5m). That would be payable over two years if they were to take up that option.

His arrival gives Liverpool some much-needed options in an area that was emerging as a weakness. Jurgen Klopp insisted over the summer that the signing of a new midfielder was not in his thinking.

But injuries to Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago left Klopp short on options. And with James Milner and Jordan Henderson coming in for criticism, Klopp was forced to admit he would have to look.

That search intensified following the hamstring injury Henderson sustained in Wednesday’s win over Newcastle.

That leaves Klopp short on options for Saturday lunchtime’s Merseyside derby.

However, the signing of Arthur will ease that burden during a busy period over the next few months.

The midfielder is likely to star against Everton this afternoon after international clearance surprisingly arrived in time.

Speaking in 2018, Messi said of Arthur: “Arthur, I didn’t know that much about but he seems similar to Xavi.

“He’s very safe and trustworthy. He has the La Masia style. Playing short passes, without losing the ball, and he grasped it quickly, the dynamic of the team.”

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