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.
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