Marcos Llorente has exploded this past season. We all saw his remarkable turn at Anfield in the Champions League, but it was Llorente’s sustained excellence across Atletico Madrid’s victorious La Liga campaign that’s taken his reputation to the next level. Now, according to Transfermarkt and Diario AS, he’s the Spanish footballer with the highest market value, at €80m, second only to Frenkie de Jong in La Liga.
Llorente began the 2020/21 season worth €40m, eventually going on to score 13 goals and provide 12 assists. As well as this accolade, he’s also catapulted himself into Luis Enrique’s plans with La Roja, the Spanish national team, ahead of Euro 2020 this summer, albeit as a right-back. His immense physical fitness means this defensive role doesn’t prohibit him from breaking into the final third, however.
For perhaps Llorente’s greatest assets are his versatility and his athleticism. Diego Simeone, over the course of the season, has used him as a second striker, a central-midfielder, part of a double pivot, at right-back. Llorente is no longer a surprise, but a veritable crack, and his season still has one final chapter to write at Euro 2020.