Arthur Melo had the opportunity to get a few minutes under his belt playing for Liverpool Under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy.
The Brazilian midfielder went on a season-long loan to Anfield on transfer deadline day after a frustrating spell with Juventus.
The 26-year-old has struggled to maintain his fitness in recent months and has been limited to just one senior appearance for Jurgen Klopp’s side since moving to Merseyside, a 13-minute appearance in the clash of the Champions League with Napoli.
Arthur is keen to prove himself to the Liverpool fans and the first step to doing that is developing his fitness.
That’s why he was selected in the Under-21 squad for their 1-0 loss to Rochdale, playing 60 minutes against the League Two side.
“From what I’ve been told, Arthur has asked to play,” Liverpool Under-21 boss Barry Lewtas told The Athletic.
“He wants to get back in shape, he doesn’t need a week off. It was on his own back, which shows his level of professionalism.
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“He was great with the youngsters. I don’t think he knew where we were coming tonight but he knew we had a game! In training yesterday, he was excellent. He really drove the session.
“It was probably the best day minus one we’ve had.
“He doesn’t speak Scouse and I don’t speak Portuguese, but you can tell by his body language that he wants to be there. He’s really embraced it.
It was Arthur’s second appearance for the development squad after playing 90 minutes in the Under-21s’ 2-1 win over Leicester last weekend.
In a blast from the past, Arthur was replaced by Jay Spearing in the Papa John Trophy clash.
Spearing played 55 times for Liverpool before continuing his career with Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool and Tranmere Rovers.
The 33-year-old has since returned to Anfield and is registered as a player-manager as he seeks to develop his coaching experience while helping the Reds’ development squad, providing one-on-one support to Liverpool stars of tomorrow. .
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