​Barcelona manager Ernesto Vaverde has decided to drop midfielder Arthur Melo from his matchday squad to face Real Valladolid on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old has been a core part of the team this season, having added both goals and assists to his game since the start of the campaign, so the decision to drop Arthur left many fans puzzled.

​Barcelona confirmed their squad on their ​official website, but they note that Arthur has been dropped purely for tactical reasons, as have Júnior Firpo and Moussa Wagué.

Both Firpo and Wagué have been squad players this season, so their omission from the squad is not too much of a surprise, but Arthur has arguably been one of Barcelona's most important players this season.

He has already racked up two goals and four assists in his nine appearances since the start of the campaign, and he has started the club's last four ​La Liga games.

Arthur Melo

In his place is 21-year-old Carles Aleñà, who has played just 45 minutes since the start of the campaign.

Samuel Umtiti remains sidelined with a knee injury, while Ousmane Dembélé will complete the second and final game of his suspension as a result of clashing with a referee during the 4-0 win over Sevilla.

However, one player who does return to the squad is right-back Sergi Roberto. The Spaniard returned to training on Monday after picking up a ligament injury last time out against Eibar, and medical staff have cleared him to return to first-team action.

Sergi Roberto

Having seen El Clásico postponed, Barcelona have dropped to second in ​La Liga, just one point behind newly promoted Granada, although they do have a match in hand over the league leaders.

With just three points separating the top seven sides, Valverde will know that they need to continue picking up points to avoid losing any ground in the tight race for the league title.

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