Samuel Dias Lino, better known as Samu Lino (Brazil, 1999), is the kind of player that every coach (and crowd) wants to have on their squad. Someone who gathers all the qualities for a top talented winger (speed, dribbling and excellent shooting), who is also willing to work hard and display the required tactical knowledge in today’s football.
A cheerful guy on his playing style, but focused on his responsibilities. A player with star attributes, but ability to work without the ball and fall back after finishing every offensive action without even questioning himself a stupid ‘what for’.
And, overall, a footballer that listens to a coach that has always proven that being talented at Atlético de Madrid is not enough to succeed. In other words: a real disciple of Simeone.
Samu Lino already showed his potential last year at Valencia, especially during the short but intense time of Gennaro Gattuso at the club, where he has the offensive reference of the team acting as a pure winger even though it was his first season at LaLiga.
Afterwards, with the help of an enviable group of academy players and contrasted symbols like Gayà, all of them run by a brave Rubén Baraja, avoided a final shipwreck that would have been catastrophic for the entity of Valencia.
Somehow, that year on loan at a both complex sporting and institutional Valencia was like a military service for Samu Lino, who has found the way to take advantage and apply it in such a competitive team such Atlético, which is also led by an insatiable demanding coach.
A preseason under El Cholo was enough to convince the Argentinian coach of everything that Samu Lino could add to an upline Atlético since the second part of last season, which is now required to be once again the only and real alternative to Spanish football chronic duopoly.
The exit of Yannik Carrasco during the final stage of the transfer market towards Saudi Arabia ended up speeding up the step forward of a Samu Lino who was already set by then to advance to the next level and who, based on his features, is the natural replacement of a matured Belgian player after his time in China.
The reality is that, up to this point, Samu Lino has not only proven that he is ready for the challenge, but he has also confirmed the huge potential that all of us who followed him last season perceived with exciting eyes for the way he could shine at a squad like Atlético.
There are plenty of talented players out there, but not that many 100% committed to a team’s collective needs. Fortunately, Samu Lino knows perfectly that aptitude and attitude do not add up without each other. For that reason, he has plenty of both.
Main image: Edit by Pablo Benítez.