Arturo Vidal: Juventus’ Midfield Dynamo
On December 3, Juventus extended Arturo Vidal’s contract to keep the Chilean at the club until 2017. The one-year extension is an important event and symbol for Juventus. The Chilean midfielder has been a key contributor to the Bianconeri’s last two scudetti, and has become one of Juventus’ most important players.
Juventus is often identified through stalwarts like Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo. Buffon is the emblematic captain, who stuck with the club through thick and thin even when Juventus were demoted to Serie B. As for Pirlo, he is the technical leader on the pitch and creative spark of the team. But after them, Vidal has asserted himself as the most important player on the team.
Vidal has already contributed with 11 goals this season so far, six in Serie A and five in Champions League. Last season was the Chilean’s best season [statistically] since he arrived to Turin from Bayer Leverkusen, when he scored 14 goals and made 11 assists in all competitions to help Juventus to their second scudetto in as many years.
Since the summer, there had been rumors that Real Madrid have inquired on Vidal’s availability and were planning a swoop for the Chilean international. It never came to pass however and the rumors seem to have been just that, or at best a mere consideration from the Spanish giants. So it was important for Juventus to seal Vidal’s signature, both as a reward for the midfielder’s contributions and as a means to protect the club from predatory bids.
Vidal is the engine room of the Juventus midfield. In spite of Pirlo’s creativity and Paul Pogba’s rise to prominence, he is the glue that keeps the whole side together. Vidal is the heart and lungs of the side. He leads through his tireless running and unwavering determination. He is the image of his coach, Antonio Conte, fiery and unrelenting.
Conte’s team is known for its highly athletic and high pressing style of play. Vidal fits perfectly into that mold. The midfielder can tackle, playmake, and contributes at both ends of the pitch. He is the archetypical, modern central midfielder. Beyond his rangy style, he is also a very versatile player. Vidal actually started his career playing as a left back.
He imposed himself in midfield at Leverkusen, and became one of the rising stars in football. Today, at Juventus, Vidal has confirmed that he stands amongst the best central midfielders in Europe. Vidal can also fill in as a center-back, something he has done this year already for both Juventus and Chile.
Vidal’s contract extension is very important considering that there have recently been talks regarding Pogba’s contract extension, as well as how much longer Pirlo can keep producing at this level. Therefore confirming one element of the midfield is a very crucial first success from [sporting director] Giuseppe Marotta’s standpoint. The club hierarchy expressed their delight at sealing the Chilean’s signature and praised him for the impact he has already had since his arrival in Turin.
“Vidal is one of the most complete players in the world and can play any role. His story in Turin began two years ago but he has already made a mark. We hope he will continue to write many more memorable pages in the history of Juventus.”
Follow Ogo Sylla on Twitter at: @RossonerOgo_3