Atletico Madrid’s move for Nahuel Molina may provide hint on tactical plan

Atletico Madrid are in need of right-sided defender, of that there is no doubt. Last January Atleti lost Kieran Trippier to Newcastle United, before Sime Vrsalkjo left on a free this summer. Danish veteran Daniel Wass has also been linked with an exit.

The closest links at the moment have Los Colchoneros making a move for Argentine defender Nahuel Molina. Currently at Udinese, the 24-year-old is reportedly on the verge of making his way to Spain in the coming days.

Marca have analysed some of his metrics in a bid to work out how he would fit into Atletico Madrid. Perhaps the biggest tell is that Molina tended to play in a back three/back five system as a wing-back far more often (1,786 minutes) than as a pure right-back (574 minutes).

Having scored 7 goals last season, it’s no surprise that his goalscoring statistics stand out for a defender. Scoring more than any other defender in Europe’s big five leagues, he also ranks fifth for shots per 90 minutes (1.38) and top for goals per 90 minutes (0.22).

His numbers for completed crosses (1.8 per game) and pressing attempts (4.8 per game) also stand out, showing the aggressive nature to his game. However his defensive statistics are less promising and for many of the them he is in a middling or lower ranking.

It shows the type of footballer Simeone is looking to recruit. A wing-back who brings an offensive output, even if they aren’t a remarkable defender. It also perhaps implies that El Cholo is looking to reinforce a system with three central defenders, otherwise he may look for a right-sided defender which slots in more naturally to a back four.

Tags Atletico Madrid Nahuel Molina Udinese
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