Most used player and Cholo hammer: Carrasco, the X factor of Atletico Madrid

80th minute, Carrasco grabs the ball on the left side. He fixes his defender with a silky double touch. Gets into a roulette wheel to eliminate his defender before trying his luck. Unfortunately for the Devil, his attempt hits the side net. But this action says a lot about Rojiblanco’s current confidence.

If his solo was not successful, the Red Devil did not resign himself against Osasuna this Saturday. And he still managed to offer the assist a few minutes later for the only goal of the meeting. He, the former outcast who became Simeone’s lieutenant. No small feat. Especially when you know the Chlo’s requirements for defensive tasks.

It’s quite simple: he is the most used outfield player by the Argentine since the start of the season. With 1301 minutes of play, he is ahead of players like Hermoso, Koke or Luis Suarez. This week, Marca was rave about the Swiss Army Knife: “Carrasco, the hammer of Cholo”, headlines the Madrid daily. “Few operations were as successful during the January transfer window as Carrasco’s return from his Asian journey. Since February 2020, he has continued to gain importance in the eyes of the Chlo”, specify our colleagues.

Versatility appreciated

Indeed, he made Madrid’s left flank his garden. Whether placed as a piston in a 3-4-2-1 or as a true winger in a 4-1-4-1, Carrasco was instrumental in Atletico’s title last season. The difference with the Carrasco 1.0 is that it is no longer reluctant to make defensive efforts. “We can never blame Carrasco for his work in both areas (offensive and defensive editor’s note)”, estimates Brand.

And this season is no exception to the last. Even if he has shown again this weekend that the closer he gets to the surface, the better he feels. As evidenced by its heatmap against Osasuna produced by the Spanish daily. Dazzling, he made 29 of his 42 passes in the last third, delivered 8 crosses and made 10 actions in the opposing box. In all, he generated 5 goal actions and attempted 4 shots on goal. Impressive statistics.

Problem: Diego Simeone swears by this system only when he is facing a so-called weaker opposition. During such meetings, he posts Hermoso behind him. This frees the former Monegasque and allows him to play higher on the Colchoneros chessboard.

This Wednesday, the Chlo are expected to use a more cautious tactic against AC Milan. And find his 3-4-2-1 which restricts his piston offensively. Like against Liverpool where the 28-year-old Belgian was extinct, like his entire team, at Anfield Road.

Third behind the Reds (12 points) and Porto (5 pts), Atletico (4 pts) is back to the wall for qualification. Against Zlatan and co, Carrasco will have a key role to play. Because in case of defeat, they could find themselves dead last. While a victory would give them a good final against the Portuguese in the next meeting. Carrasco knows what remains for him to do.

We want to say thanks to the author of this article for this awesome material

Most used player and Cholo hammer: Carrasco, the X factor of Atletico Madrid