Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal has a rather important decision to make in the coming months.
The Chilean could choose to remain a bit-part player at Barcelona, where he’s on course to win his second successive La Liga title. But playing second fiddle doesn’t befit a man of such supreme talents, with the 32-year-old having a skillset that could help Inter bring an end to Juventus’ reign of terror in Italy.
Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte has made a personal request for the club’s hierarchy to sign the Barça man in January. They appear to have listened to the manager’s pleas, reportedly making him their top target for the upcoming transfer window.
That’s a wise course of action from officials at San Siro, and the South American should get on board if given the chance. Linking up with his former Juve coach would give Inter a sizeable boost as they look to dethrone the Turin side – and if he does that, Vidal would become a legendary figure in Milan.
During his time at Allianz Stadium, the Copa America winner demonstrated what a terrifying force of nature he is, twice making the Serie A Team of the Year in his four seasons with La Vecchia Signora.
Vidal has a fine repertoire of attributes that make him perfect for life in the Italian top-flight. His highly physical, all-action approach to the sport made him a star in his last spell in the country, and he’s more than capable of producing similar form, despite reaching the twilight of his career.
When you watch the Blaugrana baller on the field of play, it’s difficult to see any glaring weaknesses. In almost all aspects of the game, he is either adequate or he excels.
Vidal’s passing abilities are first-rate, though the same is true of Inter’s current midfield trio of Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Stefano Sensi. However, none of them have the stamina, power and ferocity of the man in question.
Those are characteristics that are integral to achieving success at the highest-level. Teams need warriors to grind out results and drag the them through testing fixtures – the veteran is most certainly a warrior.
The aforementioned three may all be tidy operators in the heart of Conte’s side, but Vidal is that and more. The Nerazzurri don’t have a player who even remotely resembles him, who can offer close to what he offers.
It’s not only his ball-playing skills and physically domineering manner that can see Inter through difficult times this season, though. His experience and leadership qualities will likewise be of enormous benefit.
As the old cliché goes, winning is a habit. Success breeds success, with Vidal enjoying plenty of it over the course of the last decade. He’s collected a combined 11 league titles in four different countries, demonstrating just how familiar he is with the taste of glory.
Knowing how to thrive in high-pressure environments is not something that can be said of too many members of Conte’s squad, as the majority of his recruits have a sparse trophy cabinet.
Of course, Vidal is only one individual, but he would offer a composed head in the dressing rooms. Teammates could look to him for guidance when the stakes are at their highest, and his fierce mindset means he would relish being a figurehead at San Siro.
You don’t make a century of appearances for your home nation – and over 500 for various elite clubs – without learning a thing or to about how to cope with adversity.
There will be moments in 2019/20 when Inter must show courage and a fighting spirit to keep themselves in contention at the top of Serie A. Having a proven winner sets an example, helps alleviate anxiety and fills the team with self-belief.
What will also aid the Nerazzurri’s confidence is the stellar midfield unit they would have should Vidal up sticks and leave Camp Nou. Marcelo Brozovic is a classy playmaker who sits as an anchor and Sensi has continued his impressive form since arriving from Sassuolo in the summer.
Add the steel and tenacity of the former Bayern Munich star to that, plus all of his combative qualities and invaluable experience, and you have a first-choice midfield that even Juventus cannot match in terms of balance and mobility.
Moreover, Conte has been employing a system at San Siro that places a heavy emphasis on having a strong engine room.
Partner Vidal with Brozovic and Sensi, and the 50-year-old could be ending Inter’s decade-long wait for a Scudetto come May.
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