Just two days after winning the Champions League and one after celebrating the triumph with their fans on the streets, Barcelona went back to business and started preparing for the upcoming season. The club signed their former youth player Aleix Vidal from Sevilla. Although he plays as a winger, he’s expected to turn into a full right back for Barcelona to takeover Dani Alves’ position. However, he can only play in January 2016 for Barcelona due to a transfer embargo on the Catalan club.
Vidal, a Catalan, started his career by playing for the youth teams of eight different clubs including Espanyol, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He went on to play for several clubs including Mallorca and his hometown’s club Gimnastic until he joined Almeria where he made it to the headlines. He played over a hundred games for Almeria scoring 17 goals and creating plenty more leading to the club’s promotion from the Segunda Division (Second Division). Last summer Sevilla signed him for €3 million.
Vidal made his debut in the European super cup against Real Madrid but he was replaced after only 66 minutes. His next game was against Valencia in La Liga where he scored the club’s only goal in a 1-1 draw. Soon after, he started playing as a defender and he did well, out of the nine games he played in that position, Sevilla lost none. Less than a year after joining Sevilla, Vidal signed a five-year contract with FC Barcelona, for an €18 million fee plus €4 million in add-ons. It’s really a great deal for all sides, Barcelona, Sevilla and the player himself.
The player himself is extremely talented and has plenty of potential, he will even perform better in Catalunya where he’s closer to home than at any other place but the pressure will still be high. He has the task of filling Dani Alves’ shoes. Luckily for him, Dani Alves has been one of the best right backs in the last decade and has extended his contract for an additional two years. Just this season, he proved that on his day he can be unstoppable as he makes runs forward. He still has the possibility to win another club world cup, another Super Copa and another European Super Cup. During his final two years and possibly three, he can prepare Vidal to take over his position gradually and still win many trophies! Barcelona have nothing to lose by keeping the Brazilian full-back, on the contrary his stay could be crucial for Vidal.
Vidal is a player who can play under pressure; the proof is his brace against Fiorentina in the semi-finals of the Europa League when he played out of position, yet the pressure at Barcelona is one of a different kind, he must perform day in day out, no chance for mistakes or errors. The player has six months to adapt to Barcelona’s game before he plays his first official match and it would be better for him to train in Barcelona than play aimlessly for Sevilla in the upcoming six months. With Dani Alves staying, Vidal could either be sidelined or forced to step his game up.