Atletico Madrid have been short of right-backs this season after Kieran Trippier left the Spanish side to go back to England, as he joined Newcastle United over the winter transfer window. Sime Vrsaljko has been their only natural right-back after Trippier’s departure. Marcos Llorente has been the other go-to man if Vrsaljko is injured, and the midfielder has done pretty well playing on the right flank in a defensive role.
Pedro Porro has been linked with the club in the past few months as the young defender is doing well at Sporting Lisbon. Despite his tender age, Porro is regarded as one of the best full-backs in Portugal, and he debuted for the Spanish national team in March. He can play as a traditional full-back and as a wing-back, which will undoubtedly appeal to Atletico. Porro has made 31 appearances for Sporting across all competitions this season and has contributed four goals and seven assists. Porro joined City from sister club Girona in the summer of 2019 but then moved to Valladolid on loan straight away. In August 2020, he moved on to Sporting and has since made 68 first-team appearances for them. He has 17 goal contributions for Sporting so far and has made 11 of those in the current season. The 22-year-old is on loan from Manchester City to Sporting Lisbon, who were their opponents in the Champions League Round-of-16 tie.
Porro is a right-back who can also play as a wing-back and on the right side of midfield. Pedro Porro is a very modern right-back, with the ability to contribute significantly to the team’s offensive phase. He has attempted 10.18 attacking actions per 90 minutes and has completed approximately 40% of these actions. He is ranked highly for the dribbles he has attempted per game and has completed 56% of his dribbles.
Porro’s defending can still improve. He can use his acceleration to close the opponent down and either apply pressure while holding his ground or attempt to make a challenge when the opponent moves into his zone. The young right-back has been putting in great effort and performances for Sporting Lisbon this season, and he is showing significant improvement. He has attempted 13.8 defensive actions per 90 minutes and has been able to win 70% of these actions. He uses his pace well to intercept opposition passes and has completed 4.93 interceptions per 90 minutes.
The above visual shows us how Pedro Porro is better than Vrsaljko moving forward into the final third. He has attempted more dribbles and also has a higher percentage of through passes, passes into the penalty area as well as key passes per 90 minutes. Aside from crossing, the young right-back is also very active in dribbling the opponent. His quick feet and speed in open space make him very good in that area of the field.
Pedro Porro has the quality to improve himself and has shown what he is capable of in his second season with Sporting. His contract with Sporting will be ending in June 2022. This is a great chance for Atletico to put in an offer for the defender. There are a couple of European clubs who are interested in the right-back, and Manchester City might also consider selling him if they get a good value for his transfer.