Giuliano and Javi Serrano ask Simeone to pass

The forward has been a starter in all preseason games and the middle has made a hole in the middle. El Cholo has turned to 15 players from the Academy.

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Atlético has lived through an atypical preseason, with the bulk of the squad playing international competitions, adding seven representatives in the Eurocup, six in the America's Cup, Herrera in the Gold Cup and Nehuén in the Olympic Games. His absences have meant that Simeone has had to resort more than ever to his quarry to complete training and to play the five summer games, where players of the relevance of Luis Suárez, Trippier and Lodi have not even come to participate.The return of the internationals was causing that of the 15 Atlético B footballers who had minutes against Numancia and Wolfsburg, they went to only three in the last duel against Feyenoord prior to the start of the League. Two of them, Giuliano Simeone and Javi Serrano, finished the preseason as the only Atleti B players to have participated in the five mattress training games. Camello ran out of minutes against Cádiz in the previous duel, and Borja Garcés, Alberto Moreno, Montero and Camus only lost the duel in Dutch lands.

As for Giuliano and Javi Serrano, they have been beating Cholo with the high level shown in the friendlies despite being two of the youngest members among those mentioned by the coach, belonging to Youth A last season who was proclaimed champion of his group, although they had quickly made a place for themselves in the schemes of the second rojiblanco team. Giuliano was the second outfield player with the most minutes played (357), only surpassed by Saúl. The absences above caused Simeone to have to resort to his quarry and had the best exponent in his own son.

Holder in the five games, he made it clear that he has grit, speed, personality, back game and self-confidence despite his 18 years (he turns 19 in December). His only mole was in the great goal annulled by the VAR against Salzburg due to a previous offside by his assistant Camello and the penalty that he could not convert in the shoot-out against Cádiz. That great level shown by Giuliano has provoked the interest of multiple Second Division and First Division teams, opening the debate between keeping him in the second rojiblanco team as a resource when Cholo needs him or looking for a loan in a category much higher than the Third RFEF who will play Atleti B.

In the center of the field the great winner has been Javi Serrano. In his case, he gradually won over Simeone, since he began the tests as a substitute, but ended up eating the middle and playing 233 minutes despite the arrival of players of the importance of Kondogbia (who had lost the first two games for the coronavirus), De Paul, Herrera, Lemar, Koke or the presence of Saúl throughout the summer. Born in 2003, Atlético is aware of its potential and renewed its contract until 2026 despite having already extended it a summer before. Serrano stood out for his ability to work, to encompass the field, his energy, strength, ball delivery without complicating himself, but capable of breaking lines and enormous maturity for his 18 years. Aware of when it is necessary to do it thanks to his reading of the game, it has been one of the great discoveries of the preseason after having made many minutes at the end of the Atleti B season.

Beyond Giuliano and Javi Serrano, Sergio Camus and Javi Montero also exceeded 200 minutes. The former exercising on occasions as a right-back, his natural position, and on others as a third center-back, ended up playing 210 minutes. Montero, for his part, who has returned from his assignment to Besiktas, had stripes in the center of the rear at the beginning of the preseason, coming to wear the captain's armband, although the return of Giménez, Nehuén and the recovery of Hermoso made him lose presence. Another center-back, Fran González, came to complete the matches against Salzburg and Wolfsburg, leaving good feelings due to his physical power and speed at the crossroads.

In the middle, Alberto Moreno was another sensation, with 163 minutes and good ball handling in the engine room. Germán Valera started with a lot of presence in the team, reaching 157 minutes in the first three games, but did not play in the last two while his departure was closed as a loan to Sanse, a subsidiary of Real Sociedad, who saved a purchase option . Medrano also started counting with minutes before heading to Celta B. Riquelme completed 135 minutes in the first three games, half a part in each one, although in many of them he did it out of place playing even as a lane. Same number of minutes as Ricard, between the right wing and inside and the author of the winning goal against Wolfsburg. Soriano, for his part, had half in each of the first two games, scoring the goal that opened the scoring against Numancia.

Up front, Sergio Camello and Borja Garcés have fought for minutes with Giuliano. Camello finished with 162 minutes played and Borja with 161 and the goal that put the tie for Atlético in Wolsburg, in addition to assisting Ricard in the victory goal. The two strikers enjoy a great poster in the Second Division and even the First Division, so the club will have to deal with its future. Guerrero with 132 minutes in defense and Carlos Mosquero with 54 complete the quota of homegrown players who have left their brushstrokes during an athletic preseason that has come to an end. LaLiga begins on Sunday and Simeone knows that he has players in the Academy ready if he needs them at any time.

Photos from as.com

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