Simeone has plenty of options in the center of the field

Koke, Lemar and Marcos Llorente have become strong in the middle, but Cholo has many and varied alternatives: Saúl, Torreira, Kondogbia and Héctor Herrera.

The coronavirus and muscle injuries (and the punishment of Trippier) left Atlético depleted for many weeks, but he is already breathing because he sees the empty infirmary. Although Carrasco is sanctioned for Pizjuán, there are five warnings and Dembélé gave the scare last week, Simeone has 22 fit and reflects on the eleven type and, despite the system changes, it can almost be said that he has plenty of midfielders .

The last to return to the group was Héctor Herrera, who in December suffered a muscle injury that left him out for a month and a half and in February he contracted the coronavirus. When he returned, he had to travel to Mexico for a family matter and returned to play against Alavés. That afternoon, Cholo had the Aztec on the bench with Torreira, Kondogbia and Saúl. In the field, Koke as the only pivot with Lemar and Llorente as interiors on the next step.

Thus, Simeone encounters an accumulation of players with a similar role in the game, although different qualities. When the squad was set up, Llorente's mutation, who started to count as an attacker and not as a midfielder, and Thomas's goodbye seemed to leave the area depopulated, only with Koke, Saúl and Herrera. Then, in addition, in the 4-4-2 at least two of the half centers played, sometimes three (one fallen to a band) and even four at specific moments. The club immediately brought Torreira on loan, as soon as Thomas's departure was known. A few weeks later, taking advantage of the extra period, he signed Kondogbia. The problem seemed solved, at least in terms of quantity.

But the weeks went by, Simeone was testing pieces and diagrams, some players grew, others fell, injuries arrived ... In the December derby, Saúl went to the bench and Herrera, who took his place, was injured. What came later was that Koke, Lemar and Llorente kept the plot. They are the starting average, although the casualties have forced Cholo to break it from time to time.

For what is coming it seems that this will be the norm, although each game will be different. For example, Carrasco will not be in Seville and that could send Lemar to the band, or perhaps it will be an opportunity for Saúl, in whom Cholo continues to trust. And there is the aforementioned Herrera, who in 2021 has played only 22 minutes, but the coach likes his way of making the ball run and remembers that very good games were played with the Mexican in October and November, when the team took off. And they are waiting for Kondogbia and Torreira, without minutes in the last three games, but of whom Simeone does not forget and often gives moments. The coach has to choose from, but now more than ever, playing is going to be very expensive for the rojiblancos midfielders ...

Simeone's options for the half Koke (2,882 minutes): the third footballer with the most minutes. Unquestionable, now his most frequent position is as a sole center half. He is the one who moves the team, although he has moved away from the area of greatest danger. He performs alone, although he has also thanked a teammate who allows him to let go, as with the National Team with Rodrigo / Busquets. Llorente (2,829 '): the great revelation of the last year and one of the most decisive and versatile footballers of the squad. He started out as one more forward, but Simeone ended up giving him a fit as a right inside, but allowing him to go on the attack and for Trippier to bring him closer to the baseline. But he has also played on the right wing, even as a winger, and in the double pivot. Saúl (1993 '): essential in the first section and substitute in the second third of the competition. Simeone continues to trust him, proof of this is that he gave him 90 minutes to look for the comeback at Chelsea's home, but he is not the eleven type right now. Its versatility also plays in its favor. His future is in the air. Lemar (1,451 '): Saúl's reverse path. In November he had an opportunity and he took advantage of it until he became one of the team's essentials. Only the coronavirus stopped him. His performance has returned him to the National Team. Herrera (679 '): many minutes in October, November and December with a good performance. Then the injuries and the coronavirus have removed him from the team. Since he was injured on December 12, he has only been able to play 22 minutes. Lemar's progression complicates him, but Cholo highly values his virtues.Torreira (629 '): he has not finished breaking or taking the place. He has only started three times in the League and the two in the Cup. In total he has participated in 22 games and has always been available except when he fell ill with coronavirus in the November break. Simeone usually pulls him to prop up the middle of the field with a scoreboard in favor.Kondogbia (593 '): a case similar to that of the Uruguayan: three starts in the League and two in the Cup. In the rest of his appearances, except in one that entered after the break, he did it in the last half hour. He has the most defensive profile of his teammates. You are with your selection.

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