Arthur Melo could make second Liverpool appearance tonight by taking advantage of key rule

Liverpool under-21s play Rochdale in the Papa John’s Trophy tonight.

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Arthur Melo made a surprise appearance for Liverpool under-21s on Saturday.

The midfielder, who arrived on a season-long loan from Juventus on deadline day, featured for Barry Lewtas’ side in a 1-0 victory over Leicester City in Premier League 2.

Arthur has been short of fitness since moving to Anfield and dropping down to the under-21s gave him a chance to get much-needed minutes under his belt.

Now the Brazil international could well line up for the young Reds against Rochdale at 7pm tonight.

Liverpool under-21s play the League Two strugglers in the Papa John’s Trophy at Spotland.

The competition is designed for youngsters to be exposed to new challenges facing seasoned Football League players.

However, rules state that academy teams can name two players over the age of 21 who have made 40 or more senior appearances.

That means that Arthur could play for the Reds - who are somewhat short of bodies given the number of fledgling talents called up for international duty at age-group level.

Arthur Melo. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty ImagesArthur Melo. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images
Arthur Melo. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

Nat Phillips featured for the under-21s against Bolton last season.

The centre-back, 25, also played against Leicester at the weekend and could be given another outing as an overage player.

Phillips has been on the periphery of Jurgen Klopp’s side this season.

Fabio Carvalho was the third first-team player to appear at Leicester.

The attacking midfielder has recently recovered from a knee injury and has been omitted from the Portugal under-21 squad during the international break.

Being aged 20, Carvalho would be eligible to play in the Papa John’s Trophy.