Thomas Lemar made his debut for Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night following his summer transfer from Monaco.
His signing was hailed as a coup for the club, and he showed why as his performance in midfield helped his side topple Champions League winners Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, with Diego Simeone’s side winning 4-2 after extra time.
The 22-year-old made an instant impact for his new club, impressing in midfield.
Here’s a closer look at how Lemar performed.
Goals – 0
Assists – 0
Shots – 0
Pass Accuracy – 85%
Key Passes – 0
Dribbles – 3
Controlling possession – Lemar popped up everywhere, directing play from midfield for Atletico. It was somewhat of a departure from his usual role as a winger or playmaker, but given Atletico’s preference to play on the counter, Lemar will be asked to do this more often.
Defensive work rate – The 22-year-old seems to have bought into the Atletico ethos instantly. The young attacker could be seen constantly tracking back, at times picking up the ball just outside his own half. His performance answered any questions about whether he’d fit at Atletico.
The flair and excitement that Lemar is known for was missing in this display. He was too conservative on the ball at times, not looking to beat his man often enough or drift into spaces where he could put his pace to greatest effect.
Despite his own excellent performance, Atletico looked more dangerous once Lemar was taken off, with substitute attackers Vitolo and Angel Correa doing the damage for the side. Did Lemar curb his natural game too much?
This was a promising debut from Lemar. He showed how quickly he’s adapted to Atletico’s style of playing, even though it’s the polar opposite of the free-flowing attacking football he was used to at Monaco.
More importantly, the Frenchman showed a range of talents that were not always fully exploited at his former club, with an ability to dictate play from midfield a newfound aspect of Lemar’s game.
It was a bright performance that should have left Atletico feeling encouraged and excited.
RATING – 7/10