Barcelona will be without Arthur today when they take on Real Valladolid, which could spell trouble for the Catalans. The Brazilian has been having a very good season, however, he’s being rested by manager Ernesto Valverde.
The midfielder has been missed when he’s not on the pitch. In the three games this season Barcelona has played without him, they have won only one - against Real Betis - and lost twice - against Granada and Athletic Club.
There have always been questions about Arthur’s stamina, and it seems Valverde wants to make sure he’s in tip-top shape come the second half of the season by giving him generous amounts of time off. But in the meantime, Barça are just not the same without him.
Arturo Vidal is the favorite to take Arthur’s spot alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets in the middle of the park. Vidal offers a physical box-to-box presence that perhaps Arthur cannot match. But even at his young age, it is the Brazilian who offers the ability to turn away from pressure while dribbling, and the vision to pick a pass few others can. Those will be sorely missed, despite the Chilean’s qualities.
Vidal is usually one of the first subs Valverde turns to on the bench, so perhaps we will see Ivan Rakitić get the nod as a substitute despite rumors that he’s on his way out come the next transfer window.
It wouldn’t be a bad time to give Carles Aleñá some minutes as well. The academy product has been finding it hard to get on the pitch, with Valverde admitting that the youngster has played less than he deserves.