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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Valverde predicts big future for Arthur as Barcelona beat Tottenham on penalties

The 21-year-old midfielder scored a stunning goal in the pre-season friendly in the United States

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde is expecting summer signing Arthur to make a big contribution after the Brazilian midfielder impressed in a pre-season match against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday night.

Arthur, 21, scored a stunning goal to put Barcelona 2-0 ahead against Spurs in Pasadena, the Brazilian's finish doubling his team's advantage after Munir El Haddadi scored the opener.

However, second half goals from Son Heing-min and Georges-Kevin N'Koudou earned Tottenham a draw before Barca settled the match on penalties.

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The Primera Liga champions have lost the services of experienced midfield duo Andres Iniesta and Paulinho since the end of last season, but spent €40 million (Dh171.5m) to bring in Arthur from Brazilian club Gremio.

Barcelona manager Valverde has confirmed that he still wants to add to his options in the midfield, but was encouraged by the early signs from Arthur during an impressive first half display in Pasadena, California.

"He is a player that can give us a lot," Valverde said. "He can give us possession, goals and he was really motivated today. He had a great game during the minutes that he played."

Like Valverde, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is eager for a transfer breakthrough, particularly as the Premier League side are yet to make a signing since last season's third-place finish.

Spurs are already without their nine World Cup semi-final representatives for their trip to America and Pochettino's options have been further depleted after injuries to Victor Wanyama, Erik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko. Wanyama's knee problem is potentially serious after he has flown back to London to see a specialist.

But regardless of the casualties, Pochettino says it is crucial that Spurs add to their squad before the August 9 Premier League transfer deadline.

"We are going to see what happens in the next few days," said Pochettino.

"But with or without injuries, I think that's our target [to strengthen the team] to bring in some players and add some with quality who can help us to achieve our goals."