Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal has been linked with a move to Premier League club Manchester United for several weeks. His positive displays during this year’s World Cup have prompted the United manager Louis van Gaal to pursue the player’s signature. Van Gaal is reportedly set to wield the axe this summer, and Vidal is being eyed as one of the replacements.
Vidal has been at Serie A outfit Juventus since 2011; since then, the club has won three consecutive league titles. He has been an instrumental cog throughout, and he also played an integral role during their 2011-12 season, a campaign in which they went unbeaten. The Chilean was dubbed Il Guerriero (“The Warrior”) by the Italian media due to his aggressiveness and hard tackling. He is a tough box-to-box midfielder who contributes as much to the defense as he does to the offense.
His energetic displays and excellent work rate have contributed to his overall success; he is a pest on the defensive end but he is also quite reckless. He received 12 yellow cards last season, a statistic which shows that his on-field discipline needs to be addressed, and his fiery temper has also gotten the better of him on occasion. That being said, his aggressiveness may be well suited to the Premier League, as this league is more physical than most. I do not foresee a lengthy adjustment period should he make the move.
Vidal is no slob offensively. He managed to score 19 goals in all competitions for Juventus last season, a tally only bested by that of Carlos Tevez (21). He also registered five assists during the campaign. His awareness is very impressive; he seems to always know where a loose ball will end up and is always the first to pounce. Vidal also has an excellent passing range and is wholly adept with his delivery of through-balls, boasting an overall 82.2 percent pass success rate.
The Chile International is very strong aerially and has great jumping ability. His knack for getting on the end of a cross is invaluable. He provides a target in the box and will go for anything in the air. Vidal is the complete midfielder, possessing the strength, pace and aggression to survive the Premier League. He will probably be a breath of fresh air to the United fans who had to put up with Marouane Fellaini all of last season.
His temperament may prove to be a liability, but if this deal goes through, the Manchester club will have certainly done their best piece of business this summer.