Héctor Herrera can be a very important player for the remainder of the season. The Mexican took control of the team in October and Atlético achieved great results and very good football moments from a combination game, possession and with many arrivals and superiority in the center of the field.
But, after having taken a step forward and having managed to gain Simeone's trust, the setbacks have been concentrated in a Herrera who had lost continuity until recover his space last Sunday against Betis. First, he suffered a muscle injury in November that knocked him out against the Barcelona, Valencia and Lokomotiv. After recovering and returning to the eleven against Valladolid and Real Madrid, suffered another injury that kept him out of combat from December 12 to the end of January. The height of bad luck occurred when, after playing six minutes in Cádiz, contracted the coronavirus in that outbreak that affected and weighed down six players in the squad and again he had to stop.
But now it is his time again. Against Betis he tried to take the reins of the team while the gasoline lasted and against Eibar it seems that he will repeat ownership when the team needs more game and legs. Atlético are going through a bad time, they are having a hard time scoring goals (there have been two in the last five games) and anxiety is taking over the team. That is why Herrera's seniority can be so important. At 30 years old, he is hardened in a thousand battles and Simeone's great objective is to recover the offensive splendor that Atleti showed at the beginning of the course, when Herrera led the midfield with Koke.
The captain is one of the beneficiaries of the Mexican's presence, since frees you from concentrating all defensive facets on the pivot and provides another anchor that can go down between center-backs to get the ball out and adjust pressure against opposing midfielders. Against Betis, Herrera played 64 minutes, in which he completed 45 passes out of 50 that he tried (90% correct), the second that more of the team after the 58 of Koke and added struggle, winning 63.4% of the eleven melee duels in which he was measured and three recoveries.
In the last minutes the wear was noticed, since He was not a starter for Atlético since December 12 in the first leg derby against Real Madrid, although during the last break he was able to pick up pace with Mexico. But it also became clear that he can provide organization, calm and positional and possession play. If the team's casualties are concentrated above, with Luis Suárez and João Félix injured and Lemar working to be against Eibar, the rojiblanco midfield has gained troops. For the duel on Sunday Kondogbia returns, sanctioned against Betis, Llorente, who will act as a forward, Torreira is available again and against Betis he had minutes again and Herrera wants to take a step forward. If he recovers his version of the first round, Atlético will get closer to the version that made him leader.