Liverpool U21 coach Lewtas praises Arthur after Rochdale defeat: This fitness work off his own back

Liverpool U21 coach Barry Lewtas has praised the attitude of Arthur Melo after he had an hour in their EFL Trophy defeat to Rochdale last night.

Lewtas admits Arthur had little knowledge of their opponents heading into the tie,

“I don’t think he knew where we were going, but he knew we had a game!” Lewtas told the Liverpool Echo. “But he wanted to play 100%, that is very clear.”

And having appeared for 90 minutes for the U21s in their Premier League 2 win at Leicester City on Saturday, the Brazil international came through just over an hour as one of two permitted overage players in a young Reds side beaten 1-0 at Rochdale in the EFL Trophy group stage.

“Arthur has been in over the international break to play games and build up his fitness,” says Lewtas. “That’s off his own back, so that shows his level of professionalism. He has been great with the lads as well. He has been first-class.

“In training on Monday he was excellent, he really drove the lads and as a matchday minus one, it’s probably the best one we’ve had.

“He wants to get fit, he doesn’t need a week off, so it’s come from him. He doesn’t speak Scouse and I don’t speak Portuguese, but I think you can tell from the body language. In the meetings we went through some extra things and cleared a few things up. He has embraced it.

“He first trained with us on Friday. He trained with the first team, and then he had a session with us for the team that was going to play against Leicester. He’ll do a little work with us during the international break.”