By 90Min
September 05, 2018

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has claimed that he has been surprised at how much of an impact summer signing Arthur has already had in Catalonia, even going so far as to compare the Brazil international with club icon Xavi Hernández.

The 22-year-old midfielder was one of four players who signed on the dotted line during the transfer window, with compatriot Malcom, Chile star Arturo Vidal and former Sevilla defender Clément Lenglet also arriving at the Camp Nou.

PAU BARRENA/GettyImages

In an interview with Catalan radio program Tot costa, as seen on ESPN FC, Messi revealed that it has been the arrival of Arthur from Brazilian side Grêmio which has made the biggest impression on the Barcelona squad so far this season.

"The new signings are all really good but if I have to pick one I would say, Arthur. He has surprised me," Messi admitted. "I didn't know much about him but he is really similar to Xavi. He likes to have the ball, play short, not lose it and is very solid.

"He's really safe and reliable [on the ball]. He's surprised me but I like them all."

Messi also spoke about Barcelona's chances in the Champions League this season, and the Argentina international confirmed that the club would do everything they can to get their hands on the trophy which has alluded them since 2015.

"It's time [to win the Champions League again] because we have been knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter finals in the last three seasons," he added. "Last season's result in Rome hurt especially because of the result in the first leg and how the second leg went.

"We have a spectacular squad and we can fight for it [this season]."

The Blaugrana will be confident that they can mount a serious challenge for the coveted trophy this season after Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from reigning champions Real Madrid, although the club have been drawn in a difficult group with Inter, PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham.

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