De Paul, a bespoke reinforcement for Simeone's scheme

The Argentine combines quality and collective work. His final of the Copa América against Brazil defines him. It can fit perfectly on the double pivot or the 1-5-3-2.


If someone has not seen Rodrigo de Paul play, the Copa América final may be his best service record and an ideal resume to present himself. The Argentine midfielder was key for Argentina to take the Maracana title against Brazil and left a brilliant performance both in defensive work and with his contribution in the face of the rival goal, assisting Di María in the only goal of the match and leaving a Golden pass for Messi in the 88th minute that was about to become the sentence of the match.

Atlético was the fastest, Andrea Berta and Simeone were impressed by their season in Udinese and this time the club did not want to beat around the bush and closed its incorporation before the start of the Copa América. They were warned of what could happen, a tournament from which De Paul has come out totally revalued. However, its progression comes from afar. The Argentine already played in LaLiga, in Valencia between summer 2014 and January 2016. At that time very young, he stood out as a dribbling band footballer, with good overflow and arrival, but not very attentive in defense and with little regularity.

But in Udinese came his reconversion. He began to play closer to the center of the field, to be key at the beginning of the play, he matured and became aware of the importance of working for the team. And, five seasons later, he leaves as a benchmark in his club that he ended up captaining and as one of the great names in Serie A. At 27, he is going through the best moment of his career and can adapt like a glove to Simeone's schematics. An excellent player, with a lot of character and increasingly better physically and tactically.

Your data speaks for itself. He finished the course with nine goals and nine assists (plus one in the cup) starting as a midfielder. Also an expert on set pieces, with 72 good crossings into the box, the Argentine finished as the third best player in this area in the Italian league. He is able to cross the midfield lines many times through driving and dribbling. So much so that he finished as the footballer with the most good dribbles in Serie A, with 122. De Paul was the Italian league footballer with the most duels won, with 294 (followed by Belotti with 292), and the tenth midfielder with the most recoveries with 207. In addition, it also stands out in the pass (1,465 good shipments with a 79.79% success rate) .

Positionally it fits perfectly into the two most used schemes by Simeone. Both in a double pivot, as he shone with Argentina in many minutes with a more defensive footballer at his side, as in that center of the field with three elements that Cholo promoted last year (with Koke-Llorente and Lemar as the most common system ). Physically capable of reaching from area to area throughout the game, perhaps the ideal position for De Paul is the one that Llorente exploited so much this year, outlined to the right and with freedom to fall on the wing and step on the rival area. Its past as an interior also allows it to return to the side when the Cholo needs it.

A signing that arrives at its best and that has conquered the Atléticos with its role in the national team. Indefatigable against Brazil, his physical display was commendable, in charge of measuring up to Neymar, stopping Paquetá and putting Casemiro in trouble. After all the game running, he was also the protagonist in the rival area at the end of the game, making it clear that he is tireless and Scaloni did not withdraw him despite being booked. There is still a while to see him as rojiblanco, since like Correa, Lodi and Trippier, he has just started his vacation. But, De Paul's characteristics are perfectly adapted to those of Simeone's Atleti. The Argentine further increases the internal competition of the league champion.

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