Compiling a Player Analysis: Arturo Vidal

Welcome to my player analysis of Juventus’ all-action midfielder Arturo Vidal. It’s obviously a fairly specific article as it’s based on one player alone but I’d like to use it to show the basis on how I analyse a player. Being able to properly analyse a player is always handy when you’re looking to build a squad in which the players complement each other. I’m using Vidal not just because he’s a personal favourite of mine but also because there’s not really another player like him.

The first thing I like to look for in a player is his best attributes. If you’re at one of the top clubs in the world then you’re looking for the skills that are 18, 19, 20. In the case of Vidal, the only skill that is >17 is his aggression. Now is the time to consider how these strengths fit into the position they’re going to play in your side. And perhaps the position you can get away with having no real strengths in is the all-action role in the centre of midfield, and arguably at full-back. Every other position requires a fairly specific skill set depending on how you want the player to play.

The obvious next step would be to find the player’s weaknesses. Whilst it’s easy to just look at the necessary attributes and see a player is fine in all of those, a loose attribute elsewhere may let your team down. For example, Football Manager does not suggest a Wing Back needs concentration. If you simply trust this and don’t look at concentration then you could get to the stage where your defense is leaking goals because your right-back just doesn’t pay attention. Equally, it doesn’t suggest passing is necessary. If a large chunk of your assists come from your right-sided full-back then of course passing is going to be vital. And that’s why it’s always important to consider your tactical system when compiling an analysis on a player. In the case of Vidal, he has very few noticeable weaknesses.

The next stage is to look at their basic information. This is all simple stuff so I won’t go too in-depth but things like age, height, weight, personality can all make a difference. If you like young squads then the player being 29 could be a dealbreaker. If you only have one non-EU player slot left and the player is from Chile then you might want to look for someone else. Again, this fits in with your personal management style so there isn’t much else to say.

Scout reports are always the next step. Whilst for me they’re far, far too basic in Football Manager, they can often add an extra dimension to your analysis of a player. As you can see from the above image of Vidal’s scout report, they can sometimes show you some of the player’s hidden attributes. And these hidden personality attributes can often be the difference in big games. Vidal in particular is a player I can trust to play in the big games. Combine this will his all-action approach and versatile nature and you’ve got an incredibly reliable player.

The next thing to do is to ensure the player creates contrast within your squad. For this example I’ll use Juventus. It’s all very good bringing in a world class deep-lying playmaker but if you’ve already got Pirlo then it’s a waste of money. With this in mind I always try to compare the player to other players in my squad. With Vidal, the players he is competing with are Andrea Pirlo and Kwadwo Asamoah. For comparisons, I find the use of the attribute polygon the most helpful. Further reading on the attribute polygon can be found at Push Them Wide.

As you can see from the two comparison polygons above, the three deep midfielders certainly occupy very different roles. Vidal are Pirlo are vastly different, in particular. Whilst Pirlo will sit back and ping the ball about, he’ll provide very little defensive cover. That’s where Vidal steps in. He’s not nearly as technical or creative as the Italian maestro but he’s capable of winning the ball and finding Pirlo (or the more advanced Claudio Marchisio). When Vidal and Asamoah are compared it’s obvious that Asamoah is even more of a runner than Vidal. This is interesting and perhaps backs up the occasional decision of Antonio Conte to use him at LWB (even though I’d personally use Vidal there due to the Inverse Wingback factor). As you can see, they’re very different players, but would work excellently together in a midfield three.

The last thing I like to do is discover the versatility of a player. As you can tell from the first screenshot of this article, Vidal can play in a multitude of different positions. However, that’s not what I’m interested in. I want to know which roles in my time he could play in, based on what I’ve just analysed. And in my system he fits into all of the following roles:

As you can see, Vidal covers a very handy five potential roles in my side. Whilst he’d primarily play in the role at RCM as the box-to-box midfielder he could also easily fill in, in four of the other roles; the Inverse Wingback (LB), the Playmaking Defender (RCB), the marauding touchling-hugging wing-back (RB), the ball-winner (DM). Having such versatility in my squads is incredibly handy. I know I keep saying this but this is because of my management style. I don’t like rotation and I don’t like backup players unless they’re young players being blooded into the first team. So to have a player like Vidal who can play an exceptional five roles is fantastic.

That’s all for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the analysis of Vidal, and I hope it’s helped in creating your own player analysis reports. Cheers.

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