Columbus Crew SC might be losing one of its more promising young players at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Defensive midfielder Artur, who’s played a prominent role in the club’s current postseason run, could be on his way back to São Paulo in his native Brazil. This is according to a report from Brazilian media outlet Globo. São Paulo loaned the 21-year-old to the Black and Gold for 2017.
— globoesportecom (@globoesportecom) November 28, 2017
Report: Artur Likely to Leave Columbus Crew SC After Season
The Brazilian central midfielder made 24 regular season appearances for Columbus in 2017, including 19 starts. He emerged as a dynamic ball-winning force in the Crew SC midfield, finishing second on the team in recoveries behind Wil Trapp. His 3.9 tackles per 90 ranked him fifth in MLS among players who logged at least 1,500 minutes of game action.
That prowess has extended into the MLS Cup Playoffs. In a 4-1 win against New York City FC in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semis, Artur accounted for seven of Crew SC’s 20 tackles and notched his first goal for the team. Last Tuesday against Toronto FC, he added six tackles while tying for the team lead in passing accuracy. But he received a yellow card and will consequently miss Wednesday’s second leg.
Despite São Paulo’s desire to have him return to the club, there’s still the possibility of Artur remaining with the Black and Gold beyond this year. Crew SC has an option to make the loan move permanent if they purchase his rights by this coming Thursday. But that would include paying a fee to São Paulo while also negotiating a new contract.
With Artur not available for the return leg in Toronto, Crew SC will likely partner Mohammed Abu with Trapp in front of the back four. The 26-year-old Ghanaian has 15 starts and 22 appearances across all competitions this year. It includes going the full 90 against NYCFC in the second leg of the previous round. In that game, he led the team with 89 percent passing accuracy.