Samuel Lino opens the debate

“The field speaks. He has a very good vertical game, he already went a long way back playing as a winger, he was seen in Valencia and in Portugal. We trust him, he gives us many tools. He is similar to Carrasco in that function, vertical, dribbler. We have a good duo and nice competition”. Those were Simeone’s words to refer to Samuel Lino’s first game with the rojiblanca shirt, in Korea against Team K-League. The Brazilian signed for Atlético in 2022, but just a year ago (July 28) he went on loan to Valencia after having been able to show his qualities to Cholo in Los Ángeles de San Rafael.

Now he has had a new summer opportunity… whose level opens the debate. Lino took advantage of Carrasco’s absence to enter the eleven as a left winger. And he showed personality, dribbling, good understanding with Lemar, Griezmann, De Paul, Koke and company and generated a lot of danger, forcing the Korean goalkeeper to act twice after several high-level combinations. He also provided an assist for Morata for the striker’s third disallowed goal, in this case due to a previous offside by the Brazilian. A Lino who was undoubtedly one of the great highlights of the game. And, while Simeone talks about a good duo and competition with Carrasco, from the club something more complicated is seen.

At 23 years old, Lino He left a good course in Valencia (41 games and eight goals) and he is a footballer with a poster. Javi Galán has arrived to reinforce the left lane and Simeone trusts and wants Carrasco to continue in the squad. The case of the Belgian is tricky. Contract ends in 2024 and has not given an affirmative response to the renewal offer. Barcelona’s option slipped away for the 29-year-old, but Atlético can face the last opportunity to earn money for him. In Saudi Arabia they have also made a move for the Belgian. If Carrasco leaves, Lino has applied as a replacement at zero cost. In the case of continuing, Atlético needs to sell in order to be able to sign Hojbjerg, the great desired for the pivot. “The field speaks”, has always been Simeone’s message since his arrival. In training and in the first summer test he does it and well from Lino.

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Atlético currently has no problems with its non-EU status. With the departure of Felipe and Cunha in January, the rojiblanco club ended with Nahuel Molina as the only one on the squad. Now Lino and Mouriño have joined, which would complete the maximum quota. The Uruguayan is another of the players whose future is under analysis. The main idea is to look for a transfer to add his first European experience, but Giménez’s injury, together with Reinildo’s loss, can modify the plan. Mouriño has Spanish ancestors, something that will facilitate his obtaining a community passport. But, returning to Lino, the Brazilian is willing to put all the meat on the grill. Perform to the maximum and let the club and Simeone decide. Atlético has plenty of players, but Lino opens the debate on whether he is one of them or deserves a place in the 2023-24 squad.

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