Lockdown. While it seems like the first criteria for a Summer Heat card has been French nationality … the second seems to be a Barcelona badge as Arturo Vidal joined Clément Lenglet and Ousmane Dembélé (who are both insane by the way) as the latest souped-up option in a long list of crazy cards that are now available. If you follow me on Twitter: @IVIaeday you will know that all three found their way into this week’s installment of: I Can’t Find My End Game Squad. The question becomes one of fine margins at this stage in the game as we all try to squeeze every ounce of talent into our squads in hopes of finding something “perfect” to finish out the year. This weekend I was hoping Vidal would ask some questions of both Summer Heat Gini Wijnaldum as the more offensive CM in my 4-4-2 … followed by a test for TOTY de Jong as the more defensive option in the same formation. I tried both the ENGINE and SHADOW chemistry styles for this review and I found that the 90 AGILITY & 97 BALANCE from ENGINE gave me better results than the 99 ACCELERATION & 97 PACE from SHADOW. For these reasons the review will focus on the ENGINE chemistry style as I try to break down just exactly what you are getting with Summer Heat Vidal. After a lot of tinkering Vidal ended up the wrecking ball all weekend in the following squad:
Pace Rating: 9/10
Dribbling Rating: 9.2/10
Shooting Rating: 8/10
Passing Rating: 9.6/10
Physical Rating: 9/10
Defending Rating: 9.4/10
I wish that Vidal’s first name was Eddie … Steady Eddie Vidal just has a nice ring to it and it really describes this card in a nutshell. There is nothing flashy, nothing outstanding, but nothing glaringly wrong either. While the video is short due to the lack of contributions with Vidal, there is one crazy goal that challenges everything I am saying, but it was a far outlier and overall this was nowhere near my experience with Vidal. For starters, his 93 ACCELERATION & 92 SPRINT SPEED just feel average at this stage in the game. I found that both de Jong and Wijnaldum offer me a lot more “drive” in the center of the pitch, which creates both defensive and offensive benefits. Vidal is by no means a tank, or slow… but he is not quick either… he is just Steady Eddie Vidal. Similarly, the dribbling on this card is not going to unlock a midfield and cause your opponents a major headache, but Vidal does get around the pitch in an orderly fashion and I never felt hindered by having him on the ball. You can avoid challenges, find your space, and then play a fantastic pass wherever it is needed. Passing is certainly the one area that I did feel Vidal shone this weekend… and probably just edges both TOTY de Jong and SH Wijnaldum in this category, but cannot compete with the likes of FB Modric or TOTSSF KDB.
Linkability Rating: 4/5
I referenced the Barcelona links earlier, especially with the Summer Heat promo… additionally, the La Liga options are plentiful and you can really just take your pick at this point. However, that is where the links halt as the Chilean options start and end with FB Alexis and even then I don’t see many going that route. The lack of an ICON connection also limits any interesting options for linking hybrids as well.
End Game Strength
End Game Strength Rating: 4.5/5
Much like the 9/10 rating overall, I just think Vidal doesn’t quite hit the “next tier” of available cards. Yes, before anyone comments, he is 100% useable and honestly does a bang-up job as both an attacking CM, holding CM, and certainly as a CDM (more so in these defensive rolls). However, the comparable options at this stage in the game are simply too good to see Vidal surviving the test of time. Speaking of surviving… every full match as an attacking CM Vidal could not survive the entire 90 minutes. The 94 STAMINA seems like enough, but his high/high work rates which honestly felt like extra high/high … just zapped the life out of him. Which is too bad as honestly this card took up some amazing positions in that attacking role, and if it weren’t for his finishing I would have had an entirely different review to prepare.
Value/Coins & Good vs. Bad
Value/Coins Rating: 4.5/5
Good vs Bad Rating: 4/5
245k, much like SH Bernardo Silva but with a few more options to play Vidal in your squad. While I only touched on the stamina, the remainder of the physical traits with this card is impressive. 92 JUMPING & 90 STRENGTH come as advertised and they bolster the defensive presence Vidal provides… then the 99 AGGRESSION has this card flying into every tackle, with 95 STANDING TACKLE & 96 SLIDING TACKLE ensuring Vidal wins the majority of them. Again, just that little something missing as I often felt Vidal lacked the quickness and/or maneuverability to really dominate the midfield… he is right there, but just not quite on par with the top options.
All that remains is a few quick words on the shooting with this card, and besides the worldie that you will see in the brief video… I found Vidal’s shooting to be sporadic and not at all clinical. I normally spend WL in a party chat and it helps with my review to talk through some of what I am seeing… and with Vidal, I found myself constantly noting the quality positions Vidal would take up; followed by the missed chances. Not enough venom in his shots, not accurate enough placement, and thankfully the fans are not allowed in the stadium as numerous Vidal shots would have endangered everyone trying to enjoy the match.
In the end, Vidal spent the better part of my final Road to Elite 10 match stretch on the bench… I needed the superior attacking threat and results that Wijnaldum provides; while also requiring the defensive tenacity, pace and agility that comes with TOTY de Jong. However, having just mentioned my party chat conversations I did say at one point… “You know I think I would have still come really close to Elite with Vidal in either position.” I’ll say it once more for Akinfenwa and “for the people in the back”, Vidal is Mr. Steady, Eddie! Vidal provides a consistent service that is way above baseline, but slightly below superior and my final recommendation goes in line with this thinking. If you are already sitting with a really strong squad and are hoping Vidal will push you over the edge to an improved WL finish (whatever that rank is for you); than Vidal is not the answer. However, if you are sitting on midfielders that need replacing and have the fodder to “reduce the price,” but are just waiting to pull the trigger… then fire away. Cheers for reading.