Everton Suffer Big Blow In Pursuit Of This Barcelona Midfielder: What Should Be Ancelotti’s Play Here?

Barcelona's Vidal in talks to terminate his contract this summer (Vidal is attempting to head the ball in the photo)
Espanyol's Colombian defender Bernardo Espinosa and Espanyol's Spanish forward Javier Puado (2R) vie with Barcelona's Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal during the Spanish League football match between Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on July 8, 2020. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent print edition of Mundo Deportivo (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Everton have suffered a big blow in pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal this summer. The same source has also stated that the Toffees’ efforts might be thwarted as the Catalans are not willing to part ways with their prized asset during the summer transfer period. It is believed that Barca prefer to keep hold of him for at least another season which will be a huge stumbling block for Carlo Ancelotti to overcome in this off-season (via Mundo Deportivo).

Vidal’s Impressive Form At The Nou Camp

Vidal has enjoyed another solid season at Catalonia after producing a series of influential performances as a key component of Quique Setien’s midfield. He has featured in 42 matches for the Spanish outfit this term, netting eight goals and providing three assists in all competitions which sheds light on his impressive form over the past ten months.

The Chilean international has been productive with his contributions at both ends of the pitch as evidenced by his average of 1.9 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 0.4 clearances, 0.7 shots and 0.8 key passes per game in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League this season. He has also been exceptional with his ball-distribution after completing 88.4% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Vidal is also vastly experienced at the international stage as he has made 115 senior appearances for the Chilean national team, scoring 28 goals for his country in the process. If the 33-year-old can maintain his high standards in the upcoming campaign, then we can expect him to play a key role for Chile in next year’s Copa America.

Everton suffer big blow in pursuit of Arturo Vidal who is seen in the picture
Arturo Vidal of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with William Carvalho of Real Betis Balompie during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on March 17, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

What Are The Veteran Midfielder’s Strengths?

Vidal is not the quickest of midfielders these days, but can still use his strength to outmuscle the opposition at the centre of the park. He has an outstanding work-rate and possesses the tenacity to win possession back for his side. The Chilean playmaker can also pick up his fair share of goals and assists from midfield which makes him such a useful member of Setien’s squad.

What Should Be Carlo Ancelotti’s Play Here?

However, Vidal is not getting any younger and is likely to go through a decline in the coming seasons. An experienced campaigner like the Chilean could have undeniably reinvigorated Everton’s squad ahead of the new season. However, his unavailability this summer could be a huge stumbling block for the Toffees.

Therefore, Ancelotti would have no choice but to look at some of his other transfer targets if he fails to convince Barca to alter their stance on Vidal. Maybe going for a much younger midfield option could be the ideal way to go for Everton as they try to build a strong squad capable of challenging for European football next season.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.