Ernesto Valverde believes Arturo Vidal will ‘enrich’ Barcelona as the Bayern Munich midfielder closes in on a switch to Camp Nou.
Vidal is set to join Barca in a deal worth €19m plus bonuses, and Valverde is confident the Chilean can not only emulate the likes of Paulinho and Eric Abidal but also help the Catalans win the Champions League.
“He’s a player that we hope will give us energy in the midfield,” said the Coach at a Press conference for Sunday’s International Champions Cup finale against Milan.
“He has plenty of experience, numbers that show he’s played in many matches and made his mark in them, plus he’s very aggressive.
“He can do very well for us. He’s similar to Paulinho, a different profile to what we have.
“I understand the opinions [that he doesn’t fit into Barca’s style] or, better yet, I accept them.
“However, last year there was a lot of controversy when Paulinho arrived before anyone saw him play.
“After that, he did well for us. At a club like ours, there is room for everyone, regardless of their style.
“It’s all about enriching our famous DNA and not moving away from it. Some arrive, they fit in and enrich it. Abidal is a perfect example and he fitted in perfectly.
“We hope he helps us at decisive moments in the Champions League. He has incredible statistics and is very consistent, no doubt.
“Here, players like Arthur fit but also ones like Vidal or Paulinho, who showed it last year. Before he came here, there was talk of more about him.
“I hope that with Vidal, the same thing happens to him as it did with [Paulinho] and Abidal. I hope things go as well as possible.
“He’s like a warrior. He gives everything on the field. He’s aggressive in both defence and attack, works hard and has spirit, and those are what makes him contagious.
“He’s also capable of runs into the box, finishing them off, applying pressure… He can do well for us in the second line.
“It’s necessary that we help him show all those qualities. So far we’ve signed young players, but in the case of Vidal he’s experienced and his profile is different.
“Those things make up for [his lack of youth]. He can help us with that in mind.”