With the Premier League season coming to an unceremonious conclusion yesterday, the attention will start to shift to the summer transfer window and reinforcements ahead of next season.
One of the more interesting rumours filling newspaper space today is Arsenal’s link to Arturo Vidal, with potential for a switch from Juventus to the North London outfit after the Copa America.
A fee in the region of £25 million is reportedly necessary for the Gunners to land the world-class star, which if true would represent a canny piece of business by Arsene Wenger’s men.
Vidal has been linked with a move to Manchester United over the years as the English club look to bolster their midfield, but there are a number of reasons why Arsenal landing the South American battler makes more sense.
Despite the emergence of Francis Coquelin this season as the team’s designated enforcer, the Gunners still lack a physical edge akin to what the unbeaten team of 2003-04 possessed.
Vidal, as well as being an excellent footballer, brings real aggression, commitment and will to win to his club and country – something that Wenger’s side need if they are to get the better of English football’s current best sides.
Arsenal have the ability to outplay just about anyone on their day, but Chelsea have shown on occasion this season that the art of winning ugly is just as important; Vidal would give the North Londoners that required grit and never-say-die approach.
The Chilean’s versatility would also be a major asset in Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 formation, with Vidal fully capable of playing alongside Coquelin in the boiler room or as the number ten behind a central striker.
His footballing intelligence is at times overlooked due to his all-action style capturing the plaudits, but the Juventus star certainly would not be out of place in Arsenal’s possession-focused style of play.
With a goal threat to boot, Vidal would improve the Gunners at both ends of the pitch and would diversify Wenger’s already excellent options in the heart of his team.
Any concerns over Vidal fitting into a new culture and lifestyle in England would be alleviated by the presence of compatriot and friend Alexis Sanchez, with the pair having an excellent understanding both on and off the pitch.
With accusations doing the rounds that Arsenal play the most eye-catching football in England but lack the mental fortitude of champions in the heart of their team, Vidal’s potential signing looks ideal.
However, with Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba’s future both uncertain at Juventus also, convincing the Serie A champions to part company with Vidal will not be an easy task.