This is high praise, coming from Lionel Messi.

By 90Min
September 04, 2018

Lionel Messi has revealed that a new signing at the Camp Nou reminds him of Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, with Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo the one to receive such lofty praise. 

In an interview with 'Tot Costa' (via SPORT), the Barcelona and Argentina captain spoke of his delight with the Blaugrana's summer signings, but singled out the 22-year-old midfielder for the highest compliment he could give a player of Arthur's position. 

Arthur arrived in Catalonia in the summer after Barcelona paid £27m to take him off Gremio's hands, with his signing made in the hope that the player could replace the departed Andres Iniesta. 

However, it is another former midfielder maestro that Messi has likened the new boy to. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner said: “Those who came are very good. Arthur I didn’t know that much about but he seems similar to Xavi. He’s very safe and trustworthy. He has the La Masia style.

“Playing short passes, without losing the ball, and he grasped it quickly, the dynamic of the team.”

Messi also praised the arrival of Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, after the 31-year-old joined the club from Bayern Munich. 

Barcelona and Argentina's No. 10 added: “Barca fans always want players with good feet. We defend with the ball. Players like Arturo Vidal are necessary. He’s the type of player who does everything well, with the ball and also with the muscle that he has.

“Games are getting more complicated and difficult, physique is important and we are always the smallest.”

Arthur has made just two appearances in La Liga, both coming from the substitute bench, but the Camp Nou faithful have high hopes for the 22-year-old. 

The Brazilian marked his debut for the club back in June with a wonder strike in a friendly against Tottenham, and Messi's comments on the midfielder won't have done much to quash the hype. 

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