A big stage can provide a massive opportunity for players in the world game and Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco had such a moment in May of this year. His goal against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final equalised the contest at 1-1. But for his own development and career potential, leaving Atletico Madrid may be his best option.
The 23-year old has shown incredible skill and potential over the last few years. Signing in from AS Monaco last summer for a reported 20 million Euros, Carrasco took some time to find his rhythm at the Estadio Vicente Calderon. He contributed four goals during the La Liga season besides a massive strike in the Champions League final.
Apart from dazzling at the club level, Carrasco has also become a regular with the Belgium national team. He scored a goal in Belgium’s win over Hungary at Euro 2016 and appeared to be a great prospect heading into the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
We look at why a move away from Atletico Madrid would ultimately be a good decision for Carrasco.
A TACTICAL SHIFT
Atletico manager Diego Simeone has changed the course of Los Rojiblancos in Spain and Europe in a major way since taking over in late 2011. “The Man In Black” brings an intense and fierce approach to the game, not unlike his time as a player.
Atletico Madrid under Simeone have been successful through a hard-working defensive approach that has brought them into Europe’s elite.
A disciplined and tenacious defence led by Diego Godin and Felipe Luis control areas in front of star goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Koke and Gabi in the midfield cover acres of space and look to get the ball forward on the counterattack.
While this approach and philosophy have certainly been potent for Atletico Madrid, it does not always provide many opportunities for Carrasco.
A system that focuses on his play out wide would see him reach new heights in terms of play and overall production.
A STARRING ROLE
While Atletico’s tactical approach may find goals, like in Saturday’s 4-0 stomping of Celta Vigo, it is one of Carrasco’s teammates who sees the majority of the attention.
French forward Antoine Greizmann has been a force, and the Atletico attack flows through him either centrally or the right wing. When Simeone is protecting a lead late in matches, the 4-3-3 formation may become more defensive with Griezmann alone up top.
A move to a club that would feature Carrasco as the focal point of an offensive attack may result in better scoring numbers for the young Belgian.
MORE OFFENSIVE WEAPONS AROUND HIM
Atletico Madrid pride themselves on their strong defensive shape and players, which has seen them reach two out of the last three Champions League finals.
But Yannick Carrasco’s numbers could significantly improve with more attacking players around him. With the emphasis on smart and vigorous play in midfield and defence, Carrasco may not always get the assistance needed going towards the goal that others may receive.
Barcelona brings Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. Real Madrid offers Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. MSN and the BBC can score goals in bunches with these combinations.
With the attack running primarily through Griezmann, Carrasco does not receive the assistance at Atletico that he might find in a different setting.
Yannick Carrasco possesses both immense talent and tremendous potential and may find greener pastures and greater success away from Atletico Madrid. A club that occasionally must sell potential talent, Atletico may not want to miss out on a potentially huge transfer fee.