Arsenal fans are licking their lips and rubbing their hands together at the prospect of signing Arturo Vidal from Juventus. The rumours have been doing the rounds that Vidal is available, from Juve’s point of view, and that Arsenal are interested, from Arsene Wenger’s point of view. After the transfer-barren years that Arsenal fans had to endure, and the recent signings of true world class talents in Ozil, Sanchez, and Cech, the fans are starting to dream big. Carrying with the recent, one marquee signing per summer trend, Vidal would fit the bill. An energetic box to box central midfielder who can perfectly bridge defence and attack is something that any team would welcome. He would walk into the starting XI of almost every top team in Europe. But what would he mean for Arsenal’s shape next season? Let’s take a look:
- Arsene Wenger will certainly stick to his 4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1 formation. Vidal, with his qualities, will most likely play in a central box to box role. The logical fit would be to play a Coquelin, Vidal, Ozil trio in those central midfield positions. With Coquelin sitting deep and being the bulldog that he is, and Ozil (undroppable) playing at #10, Vidal would play in between both. His role would be to provide energy and dynamism to the midfield and help carry the ball forward.
- With every addition, something has got to give. With the above in mind, it looks like Santi’s position would be the one under threat. Cazorla had a magnificent season in 2014/2015. Some would even vote him Arsenal’s player of the season. What Santi lacks in physical ability will be more than covered by Vidal, but there aren’t many who could emulate the Spaniard’s fleet of foot, and technical ability. This would be a balance for Arsene Wenger to strike. Some games, in which the opposition are parking the bus, require Santi’s unlocking skills. In that case, with less defending to do, a midfield of Vidal, Cazorla and Ozil would be appropriate. Of course, Cazorla could also cover Ozil if the German were ever out.
- What does this mean for the rest? The problem Arsenal have now is an abundance of players who are not seen as “bench” or “squad” level, and who want to play regularly. We’re talking the likes of Ramsey, and Wilshere who last season both had to share spells on the right to get game time. Arsenal fans will be quick to remind you of their injury records and that its almost impossible for all these players to be fit at once, but nonetheless, if Vidal were to come in, someone would surely have to go. Ramsey is a very important player for Wenger and I don’t see it being him. Cazorla is brilliant and what he does is hard to replace (although age isn’t on his side), while Wilshere will feel like a failed project if he is let go. For me, the most likely to go is Santi due to his age and the direct replacement Vidal would provide. Next would be Wilshere, perhaps to an English-hungry Manchester City. Wenger might feel Wilshere’s injuries will never be completely healed and will forever hinder him. If City were to offer somewhere around 40m pounds, you never know.
That’s that, for now. Questions to ponder. Your thoughts welcome.