Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo, more commonly known simply as Arthur, was born in central Brazil and began his footballing career in his hometown Goiania before being scouted by Brazilian Serie A club Gremio. After impressive and consistent performances for the youth team, he was moved up into the first team squad by then manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Despite making his first-team debut in 2016, Arthur made only a single appearance that season, and had to wait until mid-2017 for a consistent spot in the starting XI. His breakthrough season was also to be his final full campaign in Brazil, as the announcement came in March this year that Gremio had reached an agreement to sell their young midfielder to Spanish giants Barcelona. A deal eventually worth €40m was agreed, with a scarcely believable €400m buyout clause included.
The 22-year-old, who is still yet to win a first cap at international level, has signed a six-year contract and has a playing style in central midfield that has drawn comparisons with the recently departed Andres Iniesta. It is perhaps no coincidence that the young Brazilian has been given Iniesta’s squad number (8) for the coming season, but they are some serious boots to fill. No pressure, then.