Atlético lived a summer with little movement in the transfer section. Beyond the arrival of Luis Suárez as a great addition to the season, Grbic joined together to solve the departure of Adam and Torreira and later Kondogbia joined forces at the last minute to face Thomas' goodbye. In January it would be added Dembélé after Diego Costa said goodbye to the club three years after his return.

Beyond '9', the incorporations are having little prominence. But Atlético's jump had to come from the players who were already in the squad, where some of them had not yet come to shine as expected, either due to an adaptation process after signing from another club or due to having suffered physical problems. And there are four names whose evolution has caused a huge leap in quality this course. Stefan Savic, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso and Thomas Lemar have gone from having a less relevant role to being completely protagonists in a team that dreams of the league title.

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And there is no better way to check it than to analyze the difference between the participation that this course is having compared to the past. In the absence of ten league games, all four have already played more than in the entire previous season. None of them finished that campaign among the 10 players with the most minutes in the squad, and now Savic, Llorente and Hermoso are second, fourth and fifth that have played the most respectively and Lemar is appearing more and more in the Cholo onces.


In the case of Savic, last season he was punished by various muscular problems and the emergence of a great Felipe. In a defense of four, the Montenegrin ended up playing 2,482 minutes in 28 games, the eleventh most of Atlético and he missed 15 games due to injury. However, this course is more reliable than ever. So much so that he is the field footballer who has played the most, 3,040 minutes in 34 games, where he has only been absent in the League in three games, two of them due to accumulation of cards and in the Champions League he has only been out the final nine minutes against Chelsea after seeing the direct red. Savic has settled down to perfection outlined to the right in the rear of three centrals, as the perfect bodyguard for Trippier. Also when he has had to recover the defense of four, Savic has been impeccable as a center-back. The most reliable defender of the course and who has played practically everything.


Although the great novelty in this new defense has been the beautiful explosion. The Madrilenian had gone from more to less last season and ended up with a very secondary role and in the market during the summer. He played 1,691 minutes, the fifteenth in time played last year. Figures that did not presage the relevance that has happened to have in the team. He has found his place in that rear, outlined to the left, with the ability to get the ball from behind breaking lines and without the physical demands of scoring the rival last-man striker. In addition, its versatility allows you to play as a left back, something that Simeone is using more and more. undisputed holder, He has participated in 30 games, totaling 2,467 minutes, which makes him the fifth with the highest participation and has scored two goals.


Ahead of Hermoso are only Oblak (3,240), Savic (3,040), Koke (2,882) and Llorente (2,829). The latter has already finished the course making it clear that his conversion into an offensive footballer was a reef. After the magical night at Anfield, it grew more and more, but this season it has consolidated. He finished last year with 1,718 minutes, the fourteenth on the list. Now he is the fourth that plays the most, and a fundamental piece in attack, although always a wild card that has even acted on the right side when Simeone needed it. Llorente, signed in the summer of 2019 as a pivot from Real Madrid, accumulates 10 goals and nine assists, the second top scorer of the team after Suárez (19) and tied with João Félix and the top assistant of the team and LaLiga.


Finally, there is the case of Lemar, also on the market during the summer after a very disappointing last season. He had disappeared from the map and with 1,147 minutes he had remained as the nineteenth in participation in the squad, without acting decisively on any goal and far from the expected level. However, this course has grown to take a place at eleven and become a fundamental piece in Atlético's attack when proposing different things, breaking lines and moving more and more skillfully through the midfielder area. Lemar played only 290 of the first 1,260 minutes of the course, but currently he already accumulates 1,451 ', the fourteenth most, and his progression is clearly upward.

A huge jump

Player Minutes 2020-21 Goals / assists 2020-21 Minutes 2019-20 Goals / assists 2019/20
Stefan savic 3,040 (2nd) 0/0 2.482 (11th) 1/0
Marcos Llorente placeholder image 2,829 (4th) 10/9 1,718 (14th) 5/5
Beautiful mario 2,467 (5th) 2/1 1,691 (15th) 0/0
Thomas lemar 1,451 (14) 2/5 1,147 0/0

Saúl and Lodi, the opposite side of the balance

On the opposite side of the scale two names stand out, Saúl Ñíguez and Renan Lodi. The midfielder is probably going through his most difficult season under Simeone, and has lost his place in the eleven he had held since joining the first team. Last season he played 4,246 minutes, the most outfield player of the entire squad. But this course has taken a step back, and his 1,993 minutes place him as the eleventh in participation in Atlético. In the case of Lodi, his arrival skipped any adaptation process, he went directly to the starting scheme as the only left back of the squad. But this course the change of formation and the progression of Hermoso and Carrasco has left him in a very secondary place. If last year was the fifth that played the most (3,317 minutes), this is the fifteenth (1,306).

Felipe has also been affected by the growth of Savic and Hermoso, going from sixth place (3,090 ') to tenth (2,046). In the rest of the squad the role changes have been much less visible, with Oblak remaining the player who plays the most, Koke going from fourth to third, Correa staying seventh in minutes, Trippier going from ninth to eighth, João Félix from tenth to ninth or Giménez from twelfth to thirteenth with the injuries that weigh him down so much. Herrera continues in the sixteenth place, Vrsaljko goes from 21 to 19 and Vitolo from 17 to 20.