The introduction of Gremio sensation Arthur was one of the more intriguing inclusions in Tite’s latest Brazil squad.
The 21-year-old has been one of the great revelations of the current Brazilian season, earning rave reviews and comparisons to Barcelona star Andres Iniesta.
A complete midfielder, dynamic, creative and equally comfortable passing as he is carrying the ball from box-to-box, the rising star is now on the verge of sealing a surprise place in Brazil’s World Cup squad next year.
"If I was called now, this close to the World Cup, then it’s because it was supposed to be now, at a time when we can smell the World Cup with only a few months to go," Arthur said at Brazil's Granja Comary training complex on Monday.
“If Tite called me up, it’s because he believes in me and I'm in his plans. Football has changed a lot, we have Casemiro that nullifies the opposition and also adds quality in the attack.”
While Arthur cited himself as a possible alternative to the Real Madrid man, it actually appears the Goiania-born starlet has now emerged as a genuine contender to become the Selecao’s Plan B to first-choice shuttling midfielder Paulinho in Tite’s preferred starting XI.
Arthur has everything Tite is looking for from the second midfielder in his central trio. He has been contributing both defensively and offensively for Gremio this season and it is his quality on the ball that has most attracted the coach.
— Brasil Global Tour (@BGT_ENG) October 2, 2017
At just 21, Arthur is already dictating the pace of his Gremio side. He has the highest average number of passes per game (71.9 and 1510 in total) and leads the way in passes in the attacking third with 90.4% success rate.
Moreover, he has created 16 chances for his team-mates, the third-highest at his club.
He also impressed at a higher level in the Copa Libertadores, winning the ball back for his side on 12 occasions in eight matches and his pass completion rate of 90.2% is equaled only by his impressive team-mate Maicon.
He is also well clear at the top of the numbers with his 90.6% pass completion rate in attack, inspiring Gremio to the semi-finals of the Libertadores.
“Now I have to keep it up. I am young and I still have a lot to learn. But my head is calm,” he said, despite now standing on the verge of a Club World Cup and a FIFA World Cup.
“Every player dreams of a World Cup either with club or country. I do not know which would be easier. I wanted to play both of them.”
He may well do.