Former Ghana international Michael Essien has commended Melo Arthur for his sensational display for Barcelona FC.

Arthur who plays as a central midfielder has been compared to Xavi, having fit well into the scheme of things of the Catalans in his first season.

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The 22-year-old signed from Gremio in the Brazilian topflight league for 40 million euros, including add-ons has been lauded by Michael Essien ahead of the El Classico against Real Madrid on Sunday.

"They have signed this young Brazilian, he looks like such a good player," Essien told Omnisport.

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"And they still have [Ivan] Rakitic and [Sergio] Busquets, so it's practically the same. You don't really feel the absence of Iniesta in there, at least at the moment. It's a shame he left but that's football isn't it?"