Louis van Gaal has already gotten to work strengthening the Manchester United midfield in bringing in Ander Herrera. The 24-year-old has shown himself to have potential in Spain, but the real big summer signing could be on his way soon.
As rumour has it, van Gaal has placed Arturo Vidal at the top of his transfer list for this summer, and the Chilean may well be on his way to Old Trafford soon, if Chelsea manage to offload Ramires in the coming days.
The Juventus man is believed to cost over £40 million for anybody who wishes to acquire his services, and it’s little surprise considering his impact at Juventus over the past three seasons.
Vidal is arguably one of the finest all-round midfielders on the planet, and there is plenty he will bring to the United midfield. Here are FIVE of his greatest characteristics.
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One of the features of Vidal’s game which makes him such an effective player is his ability to score goals from midfield. With 22 goals in 49 games last season for both club and country, Vidal has proven himself capable of putting in more than his fair share of work when it comes to scoring.
Be it from set-pieces, or open play, he is a serious threat on goal. Whether he’s deployed in a deeper, or more advanced position, it rarely matters for Vidal as his energy and desire to add something to every attack gives him the ability to work openings on goal. It’s something that has been lacking in recent seasons at United, and Vidal will bring goals from midfield in abundance.
With the likes of Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley as current options to play centrally, the United midfield has lacked the bite of previous years. The addition of Marouane Fellaini was theoretically supposed to help in this department, but a few elbows here and there is hardly the type of controlled aggression required.
Vidal is a gladiator. He puts himself about and is willing to sacrifice his own position for his team. He won an astonishing 96 tackles in Serie A last season – considerably more than any of United’s players. He’s been guilty of losing his head in the past, but Vidal seems to have gained more self-control in recent seasons.
This is top class. Superb tackle from Arturo Vidal. Manages to keep it alive. So good. https://t.co/DWjKcGl6hk
— Luke (@luke16taylor) January 27, 2014
Coming off the back of an impressive World Cup, which followed Juventus’ domination in Serie A, Vidal is used to winning. This is something which, despite only having gone one season without silverware, was painfully absent from Manchester United last season.
The fear factor which they used to invoke evaporated alarmingly quickly last season as teams realised that Old Trafford was no longer the fortress of the Fergie era. Thankfully for United, Vidal isn’t used to losing. Juventus have crushed Italian football for the past three years, so Vidal knows what it takes to develop a winning mentality.
Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs’ retirements have resulted in a serious dearth of creative midfielders in the heart of United’s midfield. Carrick has a good range of passing, but lacks the ability to execute those ‘eye of the needle’ passes which Scholes was so adept at.
Vidal can solve this problem. For Juventus he has tended to play more as a box-to-box type player, utilising his fitness to get up and down the field. However, he has filled in as a deeper centre-mid in the past to great effect. He can be incisive and deadly if given time on the ball, and can carve open teams by himself.
— Rufai J A (@MindOfR) July 7, 2014
I guess Vidal’s ‘drive’ in a way comes along with his aggression. His determination and competitiveness means he is always willing to go the extra mile in order to succeed. This mind-set, along with his supreme fitness levels, makes him a weapon in the middle of the park. Be it going forwards, or in defence, Vidal isn’t prepared to give in – he has been dubbed ‘the Warrior’ in Italy.
He occupies a box-to-box role with Paul Pogba in the Juventus midfield, as both use their strength and conditioning along with their technical abilities to cause problems for the opposition defence. It’s this drive which makes Vidal the player he is. You can have all the talent you like, but if you don’t put it to good use there’s every chance it could be wasted. Vidal’s talents most certainly have not gone to waste.