Man United: Why LVG Should Sign Vidal & Push Fellaini Forward
Louis van Gaal has already done a lot to make United fans forget about that big, bulgy-looking stress-forehead David Moyes was sporting last season: the Luke Shaw deal is all stitched up and ready to go, ‘youngest-looking United player since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ Ander Herrera has joined in a £28.85 million deal, and they even managed to get some money for Alex Buttner. Money! For Alex Buttner! Actual money!
Which kind of makes it weird that they are stalling over the mooted £34 million signing of Juventus’ silk-and-steel-and-then-a-bit-more-steel hardman Arturo Vidal. The basic question is this: is Arturo Vidal the missing piece in the United midfield jigsaw? And, crucially, is he worth spending £34m of that sweet, sweet Adidas kit money on?
In a nutshell: yes, and yes. As our stats show, Vidal’s 13/14 season eclipsed United’s current midfield sort-of-anchor Marouane Fellaini in every single way: he scored more, he assisted more, he created more chances, and he did some well hard-looking tackles in the centre of midfield. Plus, stats-wise, Vidal had many more haircuts done than Fellaini did last season. Manchester’s barbers rejoice.
But here’s the weird thing: at this year’s World Cup, Fellaini actually outperformed Vidal in terms of goals, shots, chances created and tackles won. Playing in a more advanced role for his country, the Belgian had a pretty good tournament, with far less unacrobatic falling over than he does in the domestic league.
So if United pick up Vidal, should they use Fellaini as a £27 million device to warm the Old Trafford bench? They could do, but here’s another solution: with Vidal holding the midfield, Fellaini can go and do the battering ram thing he does so well up top, with Herrara, Kagawa or Mata buzzing around him to pick up the pieces. If one of them does a nice little X pass to Van Persie, it’s a guaranteed goal. And United are champions again. All it would cost is a cheeky £34 million.