Barcelona have some fantastic players. The likes of Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and recent signing Frenkie de Jong often attract all the praise, but one player who tends to fly under the radar is Arturo Vidal.
After joining in 2018, Vidal quickly established himself as a fan favourite, thanks to his undying determination and work rate. When called upon, the 32-year-old always knows how to get the job done.
He was handed his first start of the season during Sunday’s meeting with Sevilla, and Vidal made the most of his chance by firing home the opening goal of the game. He was impressive in midfield, and the stats prove that it wasn’t just a one-off.
As noted by Opta, Barcelona have never lost a La Liga game with Vidal in the starting lineup. The Chilean has now inspired them to 15 wins and eight draws in his 23 starts, which proves why he is one of Ernesto Valverde’s most dependable options.
Unfortunately for Vidal, first-team opportunities aren’t always easy to come by. The arrival of De Jong has only added to the competition in Barcelona’s midfield, with Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur and young Carles Alena all battling for minutes.
As a result, Vidal has often been forced to settle for opportunities as a substitute, and that’s not just in La Liga. He regularly plays the role of backup in cup competitions as well, but still manages to influence games during his brief outings.
In his 59 appearances for La Blaugrana, Vidal has managed five goals and eight assists, which is a fantastic return for a player who does not often get the minutes he perhaps deserves.
Because of the competition for places, Vidal has regularly been linked with a move away from Camp Nou. He has two years remaining on his contract, but his value to the Barcelona squad is clear to see.