When the season began, Kondogbia and Herrera started at a clear disadvantage in the competition for midfield against Koke, Lemar, Llorente and newcomer De Paul. When April ends and about to enter the finish line of the League, Simeone entrusts himself to the two of them, the most unexpected tandem, to take control of Atlético in Bilbao. Although the performance of recent months has earned them these stripes.
In fact, Herrera and Kondogbia have only coincided in the eleven in two games: Manchester United and Celta. The first, the Champions League round of 16, was a revelation. Koke was injured and Simeone bet on them, with De Paul and Lemar on the bench. And they ate Pogba, Bruno, Fred and company, with ten recoveries per head and being the rojiblancos who gave the most good passes.
Herrera, almost unprecedented until then, linked seven titles until a muscle injury took him out of the team until this short break. Kondogbia was also stopped by an illness in the thigh against Celta, night in which he gave Lodi two assists. Only physical ailments have taken them out of Simeone’s plans who, now that he has them back, has tried both of them, helped by Carrasco and Griezmann.
Herrera, from disappeared to key
Herrera is the third player least used by Simeone, 1,077′, surpassing only Cunha (994′) and Wass (45′), who have both suffered knee injuries that kept them out for a month and a half. Among the midfielders, the order is Koke (2,972′, the field player with the most), Llorente (2,898′, although many of them in the band), Paul’s (2,676′), Kondogbia (2,177′, but played eight games as a center back), Lemar (1,992′) and the Mexican, who faces his last matches with the red and white.
Last year, Simeone found his ideal trident in Koke, Lemar and Llorente. But this League already started complicated, with Llorente acting as a winger almost from the beginning. Lemar has suffered four muscle injuries that they have not allowed him to have continuity either and all that, plus the casualties in defense, he took advantage of Kondogbia to become stronger in the eyes of Simeone. It cost Herrera more, and he didn’t get it until February, when, by the way, he had already decided that he was going to the United States. Now, Cholo clings to the duo that he did not imagine in August, when he looked at his squad.