Atletico Madrid have been a top-three team in the LaLiga under Diego Simeone. His defensive and counterattacking tactics have been the reason behind their success. However, these tactics won’t work until and unless you have the right players for that position. Over the years, Atleti fans have witnessed some of the best players representing their club at the top level. One such servant has been Alvaro Morata.
The Spanish forward has played in some of the top European leagues and brings a lot of experience to the team. Let’s take a look at some of the stats of the 30-year-old that show his role in Simeone’s team.
Getting into scoring positions
Diego Simeone expects his veteran striker to take goal-scoring positions and put the opposition’s defence under pressure. In the 2022–23 campaign, Morata scored 13 crucial goals in the league.
The above shot map shows how Morata got into scoring positions and was able to find the back of the net. At an average of 2.8 shots per 90 minutes, Morata attempted 64 shots and had an accuracy rate of 51%. The 30-year-old is a poacher in the box and managed to score some crucial goals from inside the six-yard box. His average xG per shot was also decent at 0.18.
This season, the forward has already scored three goals in three league games. Morata has only had five chances, and he has managed to hit four of these shots on target. His xG per shot is even better at 0.31.
What else does the forward offer?
Alvaro Morata is not known for his dribbling, but the player has the ability to hold the ball and draw the defender towards him. Last season, Morata won 56 fouls for his side, with a few coming on the edge of the penalty box.
Another ability of the player is that he works a lot for the team and ends up covering a lot of ground in the final third. The 30-year-old is not stationary in one place and has made some crucial box penetration carries.
Other contender for the #9 role
Alvaro Morata and Memphis Depay compete for the number nine role on the team. Depay came in mid-season in 2022–23 and has settled well at the club. Simeone opts for a front two these days, with Antoine Griezmann featuring every time. He is their main playmaker and a crucial member of the squad.
The above graph shows the percentile rank of the two players from last season. Depay played as a winger throughout his career before taking on a more central role. He is more of a player who likes to build plays and pass the ball. This is the reason why he has a high percentile rank in various attacking and passing aspects. Morata, on the other hand, is more of a traditional striker and has better aerial ability and positioning.
Atletico Madrid have a tough season up ahead, and Simeone will expect every player to keep the standards high. Morata will look to cement a regular place and score more goals in the season ahead.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine