There have been constant reports of West Ham United’s Declan Rice being linked with a move away from the London-based club, most notably to Manchester United. If the Hammers lose the Englishman to the Red Devils or any other team, they will need to bring in a replacement for him. One man who could be that replacement at the London Stadium is Juventus’ Arthur Melo. The Brazilian plays a different role, but he also plays in the same position as Rice. In this article, we will dissect whether Melo would fit the bill in the midfield of West Ham United.
Melo played six matches for Juventus in the recently concluded 2021-22 UEFA Champions League season but only spent 268 minutes on the pitch. However, in his limited game-time, the Brazilian midfielder attempted close to 87 passes per 90, putting him in the top 1% among midfielders in this category. His pass accuracy stood at an impressive 94.06%, which was in the 93rd percentile. Melo also completed nearly 90% of his balls into the final third, with 16.67 attempts per 90. Additionally, he made 2.73 progressive runs per 90, ranking him in the upper quintile of midfielders. The Brazilian made 1.52 smart passes per 90 and 2.12 through balls per 90, putting him in the 86th and 90th percentiles, respectively.
In the UCL, Melo attempted just under 11 defensive actions per 90 at a success rate of 69.44%. The Brazilian midfielder’s success rate of 35% in defensive duels contested puts him in the upper decile among midfielders. He also made 4.55 interceptions per 90, 7.88 recoveries per 90 and 3.33 recoveries in the opposition’s half per 90, ranking him well above the median in these categories.
As seen from Melo’s heat map, he was the metronome that kept the Bianconeri ticking whenever he was on the pitch. With the ball at his feet, Melo completed 10 progressive passes per 90, 13.3 balls into the attacking third per 90 and 10 progressive carries per 90. On the defensive end, the 25-year-old attempted 17 pressures per 90, 4.33 tackles and interceptions per 90 and two blocks per 90.
Arthur has struggled for regular game-time at Juventus since his arrival from Barcelona. Paul Pogba’s possible arrival would only push him further down the pecking order. While he is certainly capable of replacing Declan Rice in the West Ham midfield, the only club that wants him is Arsenal. So, it will take something out of the blues if Arthur is to be a West Ham United player.