When you think about Arturo Vidal, what pops into your head?
Don't be shy. We're friends here. Let's play a nice little game and throw out a few options...
- Pure and general badassery of the highest degree.
- The tackles upon tackles upon tackles that make his WhoScored rating soar through the roof.
- The perfectly-executed penalty kicks that even Gigi Buffon would have one hell of a time trying to stop.
- The progression from really good midfielder when he signed back in the summer of 2011 to easily one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world as we sit here today.
- All those goals. From a central midfielder. Goals, goals, and more goals.
- Grinta, baby. So, so, so much grinta.
- That mohawk, though.
In all seriousness, if you were to choose one player who pretty much defines what Juventus has been over the course of the last three years, it would be Arturo Vidal. It's the grinta he displays on a game-by-game basis, the ruthlessness in which he plays with, the pure badassness (if that's even a word) that makes Vidal the player we have come to love since he arrived in the summer of 2011. He scores goals, he sets up goals, he prevents the other team from scoring goals. It's like we all went to Las Vegas, bet on what makes a great midfielder and things came up Arturo Vidal as we hit the trifecta. With every season that has gone by, Vidal's importance to this Juventus has grown more and more.
But this summer hasn't been like the other two summers. For all the talk of how Vidal's knee has been recovering since Chile was ousted from the World Cup, transfer rumors have been there 1,000 times over at the very least. You think Vidal has put his house in Turin up for sale? The press will make you think he has. You think Vidal has suddenly become the worst employee on the face of the earth and wants to leave? The (English) press will make you think that's exactly the case.
Yet, as of this article going live, Arturo Vidal is still wearing bianconero with the No. 23 on the back of it.
Are things as settled as some of us hope they are? No, probably not. It's only natural for somebody who was coached by Antonio Conte to react to him stepping aside in such a sudden and unexpected manner to get a sense of uncertainty in the hours and days following what went down. You see how much Conte cared about the players and it's even that much more understandable how a sudden resignation would throw people for a little bit — or a lot — of a loop.
We don't exactly know what exactly is going through Vidal's head these days because he's barely said anything on the transfer rumors and his future at Juventus over the last month or two. Until he speaks, we're just left to wonder what truly is happening between his two ears and below the fancy mohawk. We could either wait for some kind of statement or interview with Vidal, or we could believe what the not-quite-reliable Chilean press are saying about Vidal's future. Nothing against you, Chile, but I'll think the former is a much more realistic thing to happen. Even if it doesn't seem all that realist right now.
So that leaves us at enjoying what Vidal brings to the field this season and however long he does end up staying.
Yeah, that wonderful grinta. Those goals he scores and the other ones he sets up for his teammates. All those different hairstyles that come along with Vidal playing on our favorite team. When Arturo Vidal does Arturo Vidal things, life is usually pretty damn good in the general vicinity of Juventus Stadium or where ever Juve may be playing at the time. Even when Vidal has an "average" game, it's still better than a lot of other players.
That's just the standard we've gotten used to during Vidal's three years at Juventus.
If the balky knee is back to full health, there's just the general assumption Vidal will be Vidal. I mean, when you see him running all over the place and being his usual self in the Trofeo TIM, you just get the impression he's feeling pretty good physically after basically training separate from the group since returning from his post-World Cup vacation.
And if he plays well, Juventus usually plays well. Happy Juve, happy Arturo? Let's hope that's exactly the case — both this season and for many, many years to come.
ARTURO VIDAL 2014-15 PROJECTION (SERIE A ONLY)
Rumors that he's signing with Manchester United: No comment, jerks.
- On Paul Pogba's rumored contract extension
- Trofeo TIM Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Milan, Juventus vs. Sassuolo
- Report: Juventus contact Arsenal about striker Lukas Podolski
- Report: Sassuolo still trying to sign Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari
- Juventus' Beppe Marotta confirms the club has started contract talks with Gianluigi Buffon, Paul Pogba