The Arthur-Pjanic swap deal will go down as one of the weirdest deals in football history. Here are 5 reasons why we feel there is something fishy.
The Brazilian arrived from Gremio for a fee of €31 million. He went on record to say that Barca was his “dream club”. Legendary Brazilian players like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Rivaldo have represented Barca which leads every Brazilian to want to play for them someday. When approached by Juventus, the 23-year-old stated that he did not want to leave FC Barcelona. He felt right at home and was not willing to listen to any deals that would take him away from the Camp Nou.
Age is one of the most significant factors that make this deal “weird.” Arthur is 23-years-old while Miralem Pjanic is 30. The Brazilian is about to hit his prime while Pjanic is past his peak. Barcelona have an aging squad with seven out of eleven first-team players who are above the age of 30. Leo Messi, Arturo Vidal, Luis Suarez, and Gerard Pique are fast approaching their mid-30s. Arthur and Frankie De Jong were the only two first-team regulars below the age of 25. Pjanic’s transfer to Barcelona will only add to their list of aging players while taking away a young player from their team.
Arthur was sold for €72 million euros while Pjanic was sold for €60 million. This means that Barcelona had a profit of only €12 million (excluding any bonuses) This will not help them pursue their top targets like Lautaro Martinez and Neymar which will cost upwards of €80 million. It also looks like they are overpaying for Pjanic as he is about to celebrate his 31st birthday.
Arthur Melo will earn €5.2 million per year while at Juventus, threefold of what he was earning at Barca and Pjanic will earn €7.5 million per year. In this case too, Pjanic seems overpaid.
Arthur is a typical central midfielder. He was bought in to replace Andres Iniesta when he moved to Vissel Kobe in Japan. He was also given Iniesta’s legendary number 8 shirt and has been the perfect successor to the Spaniard. Miralem Pjanic is a defensive midfielder, but Barca already have Sergio Busquets who is arguably the best in the world in his position. While in Turin, there are already several world-class central midfielders like Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Blaise Matuidi.
Miralem Pjanic was their only defensive midfielder. Selling their only defensive midfielder and buying another central midfielder in their already star-studded lineup seems like an uncanny choice.