La Liga

Atlético Confirm Capture of Magic-Man Rodrigo De Paul

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Straight off the back of registering an assist in Argentina’s Copa America win last weekend, Atlético Madrid have confirmed the €35 million signing of Udinese captain Rodrigo De Paul.

It was a long time coming that the Argentine midfielder made his way to one of Europe’s elite clubs after spending the last 5 seasons hovering around mid table in the Serie A with Udinese- sister club of newly promoted Watford FC.

As well as playing consistently for his country, De Paul recorded a whopping 18 goal contributions in 36 league matches this term- predominantly from central midfield- with many regarding him as one of the most talented playmakers in Italy.

This isn’t the first time Rodrigo De Paul will be playing in the top Spanish division, having signed for Valencia from Racing Club back in the summer of 2014. The magician failed to hit the ground running, only starting 12 games across two seasons, before departing for Udine in 2016 for a shrewd €3 million.

Rodrigo De Paul playing for Udinese before his transfer to Atlético.
UDINE, ITALY – MAY 16: Rodrigo De Paul of Udinese Calcio looks on during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and UC Sampdoria at Dacia Arena on May 16, 2021 in Udine, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

De Paul- who is also of Italian descent- completed the second most dribbles per game in Europe’s top 5 leagues last season; a whopping 2.79*, beaten only by Fulham’s André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (3.00). Furthermore, he recorded 0.27 for xA and 0.24 for actual assists (pg), humbled solely by the best midfielder in the world- Kevin De Bruyne.

If this wasn’t enough, De Paul created 4.50 shot creating actions, 6.98 progressive passes, and 9.17 progressive carries (all per game)- solidifying himself as one of the world’s most accomplished progressive ball-carrying midfielders.

Similar style players include the aforementioned De Bruyne, league compatriot Luis Alberto, Nadiem Amiri- a player I rate very highly- and Arsenal target Houssem Aouar.

So, how do you think Rodrigo De Paul will fare in LaLiga? Will he recreate his outstanding form from Udinese, or from his underwhelming time in Valencia? Let me know below!


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*Stats courtesy of FBref*

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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I am a 19 year-old second year university student reading Philosophy (BA) at the University of Sheffield. I was born and raised in the small town of Berkhamsted, 10 miles from Watford and 30 miles north-west of Central London. My passion for football started at a young age, initially supporting Chelsea as a 6 year old much to my father's dismay. When I was 9 I went to my first Watford FC game and instantly fell in love with the club, leaving The Blues behind. Ever since, I have attended over 100 home games at Vicarage Road (where I am currently a season ticket holder in the Rookery Stand) and a handful of away games in multiple different countries.

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