Atlético signed Kondogbia just a few hours before their month extension to complete a transfer would finish after they lost Thomas to Arsenal at the last day of the transfer market. Atlético added Torreira first (on a loan) from the Gunners, but ‘El Cholo’ does not consider it enough and has decided to sign the Frenchman to strengthened the midfielder. A pure defensive midfielder instead of a playmaker in order to build plays from the midfield. A clear decision ‘Made in Simeone’.
An unnecessary transfer:
Atlético DO NOT need another defensive midfielder, and even less if we take into account that Kondogbia is one of the worse players in la liga technically. Right now Cholo already has Torreira, Koke, Saúl and Herrera to play in that position, more than enough , and all of them way better than the Frenchman.
Thomas transfer to Arsenal was a tough blow for Simeone´s project, but Kondogbia has nothing to do with what Thomas provided Atlético with. While the first one can only destroy and intercept passes, because that is all he knows to do, the second one breaks lines vertically through passes and fast transitions and also shows offensive presence and great shooting. They are totally different.
Atlético need something different:
What Atlético really need is a creative midfielder and not a destroyer. Kondogbia´s addition only proves Cholo´s defensive obsession that comes within his DNA. His midfield clearly lacks on a top player that can distribute the ball and build plays from backwards. Neither Koke or Saúl fulfill completely that role, and even less Torreira or Herrera , who do well as a ‘number 5’.
James Rodríguez, for example, would have given the team a lot of quality A player who is able to break lines through passes and connect with the strikers as a playmaker in order to assist Suárez. Nowadays, Joao Félix is the only man to fit in that role every time he goes down to the middle in order to create, and he spends a lot of time in there, because he is aware of the fact that Atlético´s midfielders do not have the ability to flow offensively.
Kondogbia´s role at Atlético:
The only thing he can provide the team with is with physical display in the midfield. The less he touches the ball, the better for Atlético. That is what he has shown at Valencia, where he formed part of the ‘scary duo’ along with Diakhaby.
Cholo believes that he needs to protect his team more in the middle and that is why he was requested Kondogbia´s sign. However, the main area where problems come are the full-backs: either Trippier on the right and Lodi on the left do well defensively. A midfielder who knows how to play would be a better decision. Campaña, for example, was willing to come.
It is clear that Cholo signs too many defensive midfielders. Time will say if his call is right or not.