Arturo Vidal Arrives at Inter to Bolster Conte’s Terrific Midfield

The eagle has finally landed! After a summer-long transfer saga, the market’s worst hidden secret has been publicly revealed as Arturo Vidal has touched down in Milano to finalize his move to Inter and reunite with Antonio Conte.

So what should we expect from the Chilean’s return to Italian football? And how will he fit in Conte’s formation?

Vidal and Conte Finally Reunited

Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta continues to gather the pieces from his old winning formula at Juventus. After being appointed as manager last summer, Antonio Conte has received his desired gift, as his old midfield enforcer at Juve has joined him once again in Milano.

Although Conte’s former Chelsea pupil N’golo Kante was his first choice, Arturo Vidal has been on top of the coach’s wishlist since last summer, and who can blame him? After all, the former Juventus star was at top of his game during Conte’s three years reign at Turin and was considered among the best midfielders in the world.

But one must note that the main reason behind Vidal’s explosive impact at Juventus could be the fact that these were the peak years of his career (between 24 and 28 years old).

While certain types of players reach their peaks just around the 30th birthday, midfield enforcers tend to break down in their early thirties, as they pay the price of their aggressive style of play and over-commitment on every tackle and end up suffering from recurring injuries (see Gennaro Gattuso).

Luckily for Arturo, at 33 years old, he still looks physically better than most players of his age. That being said, even Conte must admit that his Chilean warrior has naturally lost some of his speed and extraordinary stamina that he possessed during his time at Juventus or even his Bayern Munich days.

So while the former Chelsea boss definitely realizes that he’s not getting the best version of Vidal, his insistence on signing his former player proves his belief that any version of Vidal would be an important addition to an already packed Inter midfield.

Fitting In Conte’s Formation

Being a favorite of the boss should offer Vidal an immediate advantage over the rest of the midfield pack, especially over those who were a target of Conte’s critical comments last season due to their “lack of experience at the top-level”.

That being said, earning a starting spot should be Arturo’s first real battle after his comeback to Italy, with the likes of Nicoló Barella, Stefano Sensi, Marcelo Brozovic, Roberto Gagliardini, Christian Eriksen, Mattias Vecino, and the returning Radja Nainggolan all vying for just three starting positions.

Doubtlessly, the presence of such capable options will offer the Italian tactician a great opportunity to rotate his engine room throughout the long and packed season, but one must think that former Barcelona man will be able to cement a starting spot ahead of younger – and perhaps more technical players – like Sensi and Gagliardini.

And while there’s no doubt that Conte’s favorite formation is still 3-5-2, with the presence of such a formidable midfield, further fortified by Vidal’s arrival – and on the other side the lack of natural options at center-back – perhaps it is time for the former Juve captain to consider a plausible plan B.