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Sport Arthur-Pjanic swap: An Opta look at Barca and Juve's new midfield recruits

21:16  29 june  2020
21:16  29 june  2020 Source:   goal.com

Maurizio Sarri: "Pjanic will be happy at Barça"

 Maurizio Sarri: Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri sees his midfielder Miralem Pjanic succeed at Barça. The former Lyonnais joined it on Monday for 4 years. The Juventus coach paid tribute to Miralem Pjanic after his transfer for more than 60 million euros to FC Barcelona. Maurizio Sarri is convinced that the former Lyonnais will succeed in an "extraordinary" club. “Pjanic will be happy because he goes to an extraordinary club which is Barça.

a group of men playing a game of football: Arthur and Miralem Pjanic © Getty Images Arthur and Miralem Pjanic

Barcelona and Juventus have hammered out the details of agreements that will see Miralem Pjanic line up alongside Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann next season, with Arthur poised to begin the next chapter of his fledgling career in Turin.

The part exchange deal involving these two stylish, deep-lying midfielders – Arthur's switch to Juve was valued at an initial €72million, with Pjanic costing Barca €60m – prompted plenty of raised eyebrows.

Pjanic has been a consistent performer since joining Juventus from Roma in 2016, while only last season Arthur was been spoken of as a potential heir to Xavi.

Barça also formalizes the arrival of Pjanić

 Barça also formalizes the arrival of Pjanić © Supplied by Sofoot We are good. Why this Pjanić-Arthur exchange is a nice moldy idea A little more than an hour after announcing that Arthur was going to spin off well at Juve , Barça announced the arrival of the Turin maestro Miralem Pjanić (30 brooms), both players being included in the same deal. The Bosnian will be from Barcelona at the end of the 2019-2020 season, and until 2024, "with a buyout clause of 400 million euros" , says club blaugrana .

In order to try to make sense of why each club gave the green light for their players to trade places, we have enlisted a little help from Opta.

MIRALEM THE MAINSTAY

Much has been made of the age difference between the two players, especially given the near parity in transfer fees.

Pjanic is seven years older than Arthur, 23, but having those extra miles in his legs has not affected his output when it comes to time on the field.

Each man made 44 appearances in all competitions last term, but Pjanic's 3,277 minutes on the pitch dwarfed Arthur's 2,476.

That, in part, was as a result of the Brazil international establishing himself during a breakthrough campaign, but form and fitness issues have restricted him to 28 games and 1,541 minutes this time around. Pjanic is on 36 appearances and 2,903 minutes as Juve chase down another Scudetto.

Pjanic-Arthur exchange approaches - Bosnier at Sarri below through

 Pjanic-Arthur exchange approaches - Bosnier at Sarri below through © Quality Sport Images / Getty Images Arthur should go to Juventus in exchange with Miralem Pjanic FC Barcelona and Juventus are in talks around one Change from Miralem Pjanic to Spain apparently very far: Arthur Melo should go to Italy in exchange. The latter turned sideways, but has recently shed his negative attitude. For a few weeks now, Barca has been trying to get the deal with Miralem Pjanic under lock and key, the two clubs probably also agree in principle: it should be a barter deal.

GOALS AND ASSISTS

One area where there has been a notable uptick for Arthur this season is in front of goal. The former Gremio star has scored four times, having failed to find the net at all in 2018-19. He also has four assists, up from two.

Pjanic is far more noted for his creative qualities but only has two assists this term, down from eight in the previous campaign – perhaps indicative of him being slightly shackled within Maurizio Sarri's system.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina playmaker has seven goals across the past two seasons, although his numbers in both metrics owe a debt to his prowess from dead-ball situations. How many free-kicks Messi will let him take at Camp Nou feels like a legitimate question to ask.

PASS MASTERS

These are two players who cherish the ball and do not make a habit of letting it fall into opposition control. In their most recent seasons, neither dips below a pass completion percentage of 90.

Juventus and Barcelona reach agreement over sensational Arthur-Pjanic swap deal

  Juventus and Barcelona reach agreement over sensational Arthur-Pjanic swap deal The Brazilian had been reluctant to leave the Catalans, however the situation has changed over the last 24 hours and the move is now edging closerWhile there has been no concrete agreement over the finances involved, there is now genuine expectation that the move will happen, with Barca potentially receiving a fee in the region of €70 million (£63m/$79m).

Arthur completed 91.7 per cent of his passes in opposition territory last term – a figure he has maintained with 91.1 this time around.

Pjanic dips slightly to 88 per cent in the attacking half, figures that probably reflect his more ambitious and expansive style, along with the fact he lost possession 455 times in 2018-19 compared to 225 for Arthur.

DOING THE DIRTY WORK

In their positions at the base of the midfield, there is a burden on Arthur and Pjanic to destroy as well as create.

The Brazilian won 146 duels compared to 127 by his Bosnian counterpart last season and he is only two behind this term despite a significant disparity in playing time.

Pjanic is out in front when it comes to interceptions, winning 50 to Arthur's six this season and 53-19 in 2018-19, while the older man's recovery stats (256 and 213) are also comfortably more plentiful than his Juventus replacement (179 and 101).

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Real Madrid are reportedly ready to battle Manchester United for Jadon Sancho's signature.The two European giants appear to be the likeliest options for Jadon Sancho, who continues to be linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund.

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