Sixteen days into the opening of the transfer window, speculation and rumours are into their usual low or high credibility depending on who the specific source is; however, one constant throughout this transfer window is the speculation on Chilean and Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal’s future.
His Chilean team-mate, Alexis Sanchez, will land on British shores for the start of the season for Arsenal – is Arturo Vidal about to join him?
According to reports in Italy and in Manchester, Antonio Conte left for primarily two reasons: 1) Juventus could not reassure Conte on Vidal’s future in Turin and 2) the Italy national job is up for grabs.
Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side have been heavily linked with the Juventus midfielder; but, what exactly does the Chilean midfielder bring to the party in terms of statistics and his characteristics?
Since joining Juventus from Bayer Leverkusen in 2011, a club where he spent four years playing scoring just 15 goals in 117 appearances, Vidal has scored 28 goals in 95 games. These figures showcase the effect Antonio Conte has had on the Chilean midfielder in terms of coaching and nurturing his talent.
Vidal is known for his combative technique, something that United have sorely missed since Roy Keane left Old Trafford in 2005, and since Paul Scholes started to adjust his positional sense.
Vidal is primarily a box-to-box midfielder, with the stamina, technique, tackling, passing and goals to match that role.
Furthermore, in the Champions League group stages, despite not qualifying for the last 16; Arturo Vidal played a total of six matches (533 minutes), averaging 68,219m throughout the group stages, running 11,370m per game. Vidal averaged 4.7 tackles per game, although he gave away 2.5 fouls per game. The Juve midfielder averaged 57.2 passes per game; 1.3 key passes per game – and a pass success rate of 79.9%.
In Serie A, Vidal is assured and composed on the ball, averaging 1.5 key passes, 45.9 passes per game and averages a total tackle success rate of 83.7%. His composure on the ball also resulted in five assists on route to their consecutive Serie A titles. His Serie A tackling statistics were just as impressive as his Champions League tackling statistics; Vidal averaged 4.1 tackles per game [130 tackles in total in the league] – his combative style ended up with the Chilean midfielder averaging 2.3 fouls per game [74 fouls overall].
His offensive part of his game is unrivalled in football in the past few seasons.
The 2013/2014 was his best goalscoring season to date, scoring 18 goals in 47 appearances – two in the Europa League, five in the Champions League and 11 in Serie A.
The central midfield position has posed Manchester United problems for just under a decade, as they lost two Champions League finals due to their incompetence in midfield against Barcelona, and if Roy Keane had still been around for those two finals in 2009 and 2011, he would not have done the half-arsed job that Park Ji-Sung did on Lionel Messi.
Moreover, Sir Alex Ferguson never replaced the former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United captain. Louis van Gaal has the chance to with Arturo Vidal, and if they are to compete for the title, they will need the steel in midfield that their rivals currently have – Chelsea have Nemanja Matic and Manchester City have Yaya Toure and Fernando, while Arsenal are looking at Sami Khedira to bolster their midfield.
Priced at around £35m – If United are to sign the Chilean and Juventus midfielder, it will be their most important purchase this season.
Arturo Vidal statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com