Nahuel Molina and ten more. The Atlético lineup can no longer be conceived without the Argentine. On the one hand, because it has hardly had competition. For another, because its growth during the course does not give rise to alternatives either. The side is so indisputable that it has already become the footballer with the most playing minutes in the squad (3,461), after passing another prop like Oblak, now injured.
Of the 23 games that Atleti have played in 2023, they have started 22. He only failed against Sevilla, because he had to serve a sanction for a yellow cycle. Of those that he did play, he barely lost half an hour against Betis and four minutes against Cádiz. Nahuel is incombustible and, luckily, no injury has forced him to stop. And from those doubts of the first months it has become a basic piece in Simeone’s scheme.
Because the technician always trust him. When his signing, the club’s most important bet last summer, was in question, Cholo insisted on asking for patience. “He is the footballer we need and the one we went looking for. He has a very good age to improve and he will give us a lot in the team’s game ”, he commented in September, after that run-over premiere at the Metropolitano, with a rude failure in a goal and a direct red card against Villarreal. The long shadow of Trippier, who also went out at Newcastle, did not make it easy for him either.
“At the beginning of the season, when I wasn’t at my best level, he always supported me so that I was calm, ‘calm down, you’re going to be important to the team’. Today I feel much better,” Nahuel told AS during an interview in March. One of the things that changed, and it is not minor, between that Nahuel and this is the World Cup. The winger returned from Qatar as a champion and with another self-esteem and another flight. With the albiceleste, by the way, he played 568 minutes there plus another 326 in friendlies, which raise the final tally to 4,355 minutes, more than 72 and a half hours of football on his legs.
April scorer and MVP
In his evolution, Nahuel has been exhibiting more frequently the virtues that made him shine in Italy. In the last month and a half He has scored three goals (Rayo, Valladolid and Cádiz) with the precision of a lethal striker, like the one who scored against the Netherlands in the World Cup. He also has four assists, to Morata (2), Llorente and Griezmann. In defense, where he has had the most trouble, he has been able to overcome challenges such as stopping Vinicius. All added up has caused a few European clubs to look towards Nahuel.
But Nahuel is a present and future signing (until 2027 he signed) for Atlético. In his year of adaptation he is very established and has gone from less to more to the point that he can also end up as the rojiblanco with the most minutes in his first year with Simeone. The military service that cost many so much and that Nahuel has overcome to rub shoulders with signings such as Rodrigo (2018) and Griezmann (2014). The Argentine already has convinced the club and the fans, who named him best Atleti player in April. Nahuel is going further, he is tireless and he is already an irreplaceable piece in this Cholo team.