Atlético gave out during the winter market to several of the pearls of its quarry in search of minutes in higher categories. If already in summer the Riquelme (Bournemouth), Mollejo (Getafe, although in January he went to Mallorca), Montero (Besiktas), Cedric (Oviedo, now in Albacete) and company took different directions to go tanning outside the club, in January it was the turn of Manu Sánchez (Osasuna), Borja Garcés (Fuenlabrada), Germán Valera (Tenerife) and Sanabria (Zaragoza).
In the case of the left-back, his good work last season as an alternative to Lodi led the club to keep him already with a first-team record, the first youth player to do so since Thomas in 2015. Manu Sánchez also inherited the '3' that Filipe Luis had released and began the course on paper as the team's second left back and first option to relieve Lodi. However, the season's plans turned out to be very different, as the defense of three centrals was established with great success with Carrasco as the left lane. What's more, Hermoso has been varying that function between central outlined to the left or directly lateral in band, so Manu Sánchez was left with practically no options to play.
With a single league match played, in Balaídos against Celta where he assisted Luis Suárez to open the scoring, in January the Osasuna option was reopened. Throughout the summer he had been in his footsteps and the return of Caio Henrique was going to lead to his departure for the rojillo club. But finally the Brazilian left transferred to Monaco and Manu's loan froze. Of course, as soon as he could, Osasuna knocked on his door again, on the second with success. And, although it was difficult for him to enter, Manu Sánchez is increasingly important to Jagoba Arrasate. Although he has been alternating the position with Juan Cruz, with whom he has also been complementary, his good work has led him to have a great role in recent weeks, where the assists have also arrived.
On matchday 22, Manu Sánchez put the center that converted Calleri in the first goal against Eibar (2-1) in a victory that was already making it clear that the rojillos did not want to be involved at the end of the season in the fight for relegation. And in this April, the best version of the 20-year-old player has been seen. A goal pass to Moncayola in the victory against Villarreal (1-2) and another for Kike Barja to open the scoring against Elche (2-0). Three key assists to end up winning games that allow Osasuna to face the end of the season with great calm.
Last weekend Manu Sánchez returned to the bench against Celta, but his entry into the break served to give the rojillos a bite in search of the comeback. Next Saturday he visits Valdebebas for his first ‘derby’ against the Real Madrid first team, where a victory would also throw a cable to his Atleti. With 915 minutes in his legs in Osasuna, Manu Sánchez is taking advantage of his assignment to perfection to win tables in the highest category.