Bayern Munich made one of the summer’s biggest deals as they went out and bought Arturo Vidal from Juventus for around $44 million. Vidal will join a star-studded Bayern side as they will try to defend to Bundesliga crown and make it to another Champions League final.
Vidal, 28, is rated as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world, and the Chilean international won four straight league titles with Juventus during his four years at the club. He was also part of the Chilean national team this summer as they won the Copa America on home soil. In all, he played 171 games for Juventus, scoring 48 goals from his midfield position.
Vidal spoke to the media after the deal was finalized on Tuesday and had this to say about his new club.
“A dream’s come true for me today. I’ve played professionally for a few years now, but today is the perfect moment to be joining a huge club like FC Bayern,” Vidal said. “I’m very happy, I’ll do my very best and I obviously want to win trophies. That’s the most important thing to me.”
Bayern has won three straight Bundesliga titles, and have a record 25 league titles overall. They are by far the biggest club in Germany and a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League as well.
Vidal joins a side that is full of stars, including Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Mario Gotze, Xabi Alonso and many more. With Vidal in the squad, manager Pep Guardiola now has a luxury problem when it comes to selecting his central midfield that includes Alonso, Javier Martinez, Thiago and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in addition to Vidal.
Bayern’s sporting director Matthias Sammer was delighted to present Vidal as the latest addition to the squad.
“We’re delighted we’ve been able to sign Arturo Vidal,” Sammer said. “Arturo basically exemplifies, to use analytical language, all the complexity of football. He’s physically strong, a powerful player, technically skilled and tactically flexible. He’s a born winner,” the sporting director stated, “he’s very, very good news for our club.”
New teammate Xabi Alonso told Bayern’s website about his thoughts on Vidal.
“He’s a magnificent footballer and exactly the type of player we need,” Alonso said. “He’s shown how good he is for Juve and also for his national team. He knows his way around the Bundesliga too. He’ll make us a lot stronger as a team. He can play a number of positions.” Vidal recently inspired Chile to their maiden South American championship triumph, a fact noted by keeper Manuel Neuer: “He’s a world-class midfielder. He was strong at the Copa America and in the Champions League final. We have high hopes for him.”
Prior to going to Juventus, Vidal spent four seasons in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen where he racked up 144 games and 21 goals in all competitions.
Seeing that Bayern ran away in the league last season, winning the title 10 points ahead of second-placed Wolfsburg while winning 25 out of 34 league games, with the addition of Vidal they will be even stronger this upcoming season.
Bayern did sell Bastian Schweinsteiger to Manchester United a couple of weeks ago, but there’s no doubt that Vidal is an upgrade over Schweinsteiger in the long run. Vidal should have his best years still ahead of him and locking him down to a four-year contract is a great deal for Bayern. Schweinsteiger, who turns 31 on Saturday, is still an elite player, but Vidal gives Bayern a bigger window to compete for the Champions League title.
With the big price tag comes a lot of expectations, but Vidal seems to be a player that thrives under pressure. Seeing that he’s already spent significant time in the Bundesliga earlier in his career, the transition will most likely not be difficult at all. Bayern will definitely be one of the preseason favorites to win the Champions League, and with Vidal in the lineup, that could very well be the deciding factor.