MLS Moves: Crew SC acquires rights to Artur on permanent transfer

A vital member of the Columbus squad that reached the Eastern Conference finals last month will be back for 2018.

Crew SC announced Wednesday it has acquired rights to Brazilian midfielder Artur, who arrived on loan from Sao Paulo FC in February and registered three assists in 24 games (19 starts) during the regular season, then scored his first MLS goal against New York City FC in the conference semifinals.

“Artur was one of the most promising young players in MLS last season and completing his transfer from Sao Paulo FC was one of our priorities this offseason,” said sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter in a press release announcing the deal. “We are happy that he has committed his future to the club and we look forward to beginning our work together on a successful 2018 campaign.”

Artur, 21, averaged a team-high 8.01 recoveries and his 3.86 tackles per 90 minutes was sixth-best in MLS. Last week he sent out a tweet with a photo of himself from the airport thanking the fans and club for treating him well, and a Brazilian outlet reported Sao Paulo had declined a deal by which Columbus would acquire “one-half” of his rights.  Terms of the transfer were not divulged.

Instead, he is one of 19 players listed on Crew SC’s current roster.

“It was really good to see how quickly he adapted to America,” said Berhalter in a video posted to the team’s Web site. “He really enjoyed it here, he fit in with his teammates, and that helps you perform on the field. And then on the field, we saw progress. He kept getting better and better throughout the year and towards the end of the season he was a very strong player.”
2018 Columbus Crew SC roster:
Goalkeepers (1): Zack Steffen
Defenders (7): *Lalas Abubakar, *Harrison Afful, Alex Crognale, *Connor Maloney, Jonathan Mensah, Jukka Raitala, *Josh Williams
Midfielders (9): *Artur, *Mohammed Abu, *Niko Hansen, Federico Higuain, Hector Jimenez, *Cristian Martinez, Justin Meram, Pedro Santos, Wil Trapp
Forwards (2): Adam Jahn, *Ola Kamara
*Options exercised.
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