Bayern Munich manager's experiments with universality are likely to continue
Arturo Vidal might not have set the world on fire yet since joining Bayern Munich in the summer, but you can understand why Pep Guardiola successfully sought to sign him from tonight's Champions League opponents Juventus.
The Chilean midfielder is as versatile as they come, with an ability to fit into a variety of positions and systems from attacking approaches to more defensive roles.
It is a trait particularly evident in Guardiola's Bayern team with club captain Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Thomas Muller, Javi Martinez, Jerome Boateng, Juan Bernat and Mario Gotze among those who are capable of - and have fulfilled - an array of roles within the starting team during the Catalan manager's tenure.
It fits into the concept of football "universality" that Universality - The Blueprint for Soccer's New Era author Matthew Whitehouse spoke to Team 33 about last year.
The basic idea is a blueprint which sees ultra-flexible players capable of filling into any role on the pitch, taking basic Total football to new levels of fluidity, dynamism and interchangeability.
At the time, Whitehouse pointed out Guardiola as one of the spearheads of that movement and given that he appears to the the type of manager who thinks about football beyond its traditional confines, you can rest assured the ex-Barcelona boss will try to expand on his theories.
That will now have to take place at Manchester City where he will be coaching next and when you look at the Premier League side's squad, take note of how many current members of the team appear to fit that universality criteria on paper.
The answer is not many, with the exception of Raheem Sterling (can play on the wing and centrally as well as having filled in at wing-back under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool), Kevin De Bruyne (who can fill in any role in the trio behind the frontman) and David Silva at a stretch - especially if he eventually becomes a deeper-lying playmaker in a latter day Santi Cazorla mode.
However, that trio are no match for the flexibility that an Alaba and Vidal can provide which suggests that Guardiola's revolution will need to be measured until he gets the type of players he wants if he intends to continue evolving his principles once he lands in Manchester.