Is there a better box-to-box midfielder in Europe right now than Juventus' Arturo Vidal?
The Chilean brute has been in sparkling form for the Serie A side this season, forming a devastating partnership with Claudio Marchisio in the middle of the park.
He is exactly the type of player Manchester United need and would absolutely be the best possible summer signing Sir Alex Ferguson could hope to bring to the club.
What Vidal Brings to the Table
Vidal is a near-perfect all-around player. It makes me hesitant to suggest as much, but there are few, if any, noticeable flaws in his game.
On the defensive end, he adds an excellent tackling ability to a renowned awareness for where to be at the right time. He leads Juventus with an average of 5.4 successful tackles per game this season (via WhoScored.com).
He is tough and uncompromising—dogged when chasing an opposition down, relentless in his pursuit of the ball.
Vidal's excellent stamina and fitness levels gives him this freedom to run all day without tiring—a scary thing for those who aren't blessed with a similar physicality.
Neither Michael Carrick nor Tom Cleverley have defensive skills comparable to Vidal's, let alone his muscle.
Going forward, he has been a key member of Juventus' dream trio that also includes Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio.
He is a marauding threat through the middle of the pitch, often arriving in the penalty area to convert chances for his team. His finishing, for a player of his position, is remarkable.
His energy and enthusiasm to contribute in all areas of the pitch has to be admired.
Vidal can pass too, and dribble, and cross if you can believe it—if he were asked to play in goal, one would have little doubt he'd keep a safe pair of gloves.
Statistically, this season he has scored 10 goals in all competitions, as well as racking up nine assists.
His pass completion percentage in Serie A has been 87.8 percent—exactly the same as United's top EPL passer Michael Carrick.
How Would He Fit?
In Turin, Vidal operates in a 3-5-2 formation, roaming forward with Marchisio in front of the ultimate composer, Andrea Pirlo.
The likelihood of Sir Alex switching to a similar tactic in the twilight of his managerial career is beyond slim.
But alongside Carrick, he would do a tremendous job. His industry would complement the composed anchor that is the Englishman.
The Chilean is a born goalscorer—no Manchester United midfielder has scored more than five goals this season—Vidal has twice that amount to his name.
With the Red Devils' wingers in poor form this term, the side has had to be increasingly potent through the middle.
Saying this, Vidal would add an extra dimension to the team in terms of creativity. He would take an onus off of Wayne Rooney's shoulders, while also potentially giving Shinji Kagawa the room he needs to play his best football.
Tom Cleverley's development this season has been noticeable, but he remains at least a couple of seasons away from being the world-class threat United need right now.
Besides, Sir Alex's love of rotation would mean the Englishman shouldn't see a great loss of playing time, especially if Anderson is sold like many expect.
The most significant tabloid report linking Manchester United with a move for Vidal came in The Mirror earlier this season.
Citing reports in Italy, the story claimed that "United are understood to be impressed by the dynamic midfielder as they continue to search for a central player in the Roy Keane mould."
"The club are reported to have contacted Juventus about Vidal's availability."
It wouldn't take a genius to guess the outcome of that contact—it would take an offer of some significance to persuade the Italian club to part with one of its prized assets.
Go on then, who should United sign this summer?
Certainly no less than £35 million would have to be offered—and even then, it would be up to the player himself to decide if Manchester is the city for him.
This is the 25-year-old's second season in Italy, and wantaway ambitions are unlikely at this point of his career.
This being said, the allure of Old Trafford is one that has enticed many before him, and if the Glazers were to be willing to stump up the cash, anything is possible.
Of course, the likes of Kevin Strootman, Victor Wanyama and Lars Bender are all worthy alternatives to Arturo Vidal.
All three would serve to plug a hole missing in the Manchester United midfield.
But if Sir Alex has ambitions to buy the best—the elite talents of world football—the Chilean's name should be at the top of his list.
A fan can dream.
Do you think Arturo Vidal would be the perfect summer signing for the Red Devils?