Óliver Torres should stay and fight at Atlético

Why the young Spaniard should stay exactly where he is this winter

Óliver Torres has had chances to shine this season

Óliver Torres has had chances to shine this season

A lot of debate has surfaced about Óliver Torres over the past couple of weeks. Most of it criticises the performance of the Spaniard, and claim how he does not have what it takes to cement a place on the bench, let alone the starting eleven.

It is normal to have doubts when a player is not performing as you would expect, but to completely rule him out?

Amongst the speculation, rumours stating that El Cholo does not value young Oliver caught my attention the most. This is bonkers.

El Cholo handed him the number 10 shirt, and I cannot stress how important that is. Oliver was Arda’s direct replacement, and that can be proven by the fact that El Cholo played Oliver in Arda’s position, on the flanks opposite Koke, and started him the first few games.

Granted some say he did not perform well, and this subsequently cost him his starting berth. It did not help his case how quickly Carrasco adapted either.

Every time he is asked about his line-up, El Cholo inevitably says something in the mould of “we will see how everyone trains, and then we will see what type of player the game needs.”

Most recently the games have dictated that it will be better to utilise pacey players on the wings. Hence why Oliver was left out numerous times, with El Cholo opting for Carrasco instead.

Let us discuss Oliver’s allegedly ‘poor’ performances. Sure, he has not been dazzling us with dribbles and he isn’t beating players. Sure, two assists in 13 matches in La Liga is not so great.

Óliver is still young and he still lacks experience, however we should not judge him solely based on that. The youngster has improved his defensive game and work rate immensely this season.

He’s always tracking back and putting in his share of tackles, which El Cholo values the most, something neither Correa nor Carrasco do as well. No one can deny there are moments of magic from Óliver. He has this ‘wow’ factor to his game. His unpredictable movement and thinking makes him a dangerous player to face.

There are a few who doubted Oliver’s ability, whilst comparing his progress to that of his young colleague José Giménez.

Gimenez has been tutored by the very best – El Cholo and Diego Godín – both mentally and tactically. This can be seen from the last league game against Las Palmas. For a couple of moments I thought that Godin had successfully managed to clone himself.

On the other hand, Oliver does not have anyone to learn from, aside from the likes of Gabi and Tiago. The tutoring from these two would explain why his mental and defensive game has improved. Not that I’m belittling Gabi or Tiago’s influence, but Oliver must discover who he is, offensively, on his own.

With the arrivals of Augusto and Kranevitter, some speculate that this means Óliver will drop down the pecking order behind the likes of Ángel Correa, Saúl and company, thus will have to seek minutes elsewhere.

That is not necessarily true. I believe that Óliver has something unique to offer, something others in the team can’t.

His vision and ability to thread through-balls, which is undoubtedly one of his finest traits, will be useful on the counter-attack against teams that press high up the pitch.

His ball control and ability to dribble out of tight areas will be extremely useful when playing against teams that park the bus.

We will be competing on three fronts, in the league, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. Simeone will be need to rotate his starters frequently; which means that Oliver will be featuring much more regularly.

Óliver still has a role to play this season – and should be kept at all costs.

  • Akinfewa

    Compare him to last season at Porto he not the same level,, but i agree we must be patient

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Oliver and Jackson are not at the same level. What in the world happen. Oliver was supposed to be the new Arda Turan and Jackson was to be our Diego Costa. So disappointing.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I would keep Óliver for the rest of the season. If we have a transfer ban, we will really need him.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Óliver needed to be on the team last year and could have learned from Arda Turan. They have a similar style. Gabi and the others do not play like Óliver. Though I think he could play better with Corrasco and Ángel Correa on the field. I higher tempo game. Gabi brings a slower more defensive minded strategy. Nothing wrong with that, but it does not suit Óliver.

  • Koke

    I really like Oliver, and it’s true that he hasn’t lived up to expectations this season, but I think that it’s because of two reasons. 1) Simeone isn’t playing him enough, and 2) He completely lost confidence. Furthermore, reason 2 is caused by reason 1.

    I think we can all agree that Oliver is unique compared to the other players in our squad. His skill set is completely different from everyone else’s… in fact the three most comparable players are Koke, Thomas, and Correa and it’s obvious to all of us that those three players aren’t like Oliver at all.

    He is probably one of the best passers in the team, rivaling Koke and Gabi, and maybe the best at keeping possession. I truly think that we need a player like him in order to turn our impotent attack into a thriving attack – yes, our front three is underperforming, but they’d do much better with creative players supporting them.

    While I’m really disappointed to see Oliver not play, I hope he stays and proves himself. It only takes one good game and you can get in Simeone’s good books. It happened to Carrasco, Saul, Thomas, and Vietto so far this season. One really good game, then Simeone played them for a few more games, until next thing you know they’re regulars. I hope the same will happen with Oliver. The only problem is that Simeone seems to not even want to give him cameos anymore. If he can’t even get off the bench in Copa games or make it to the bench in La Liga I don’t know how he’ll ever get a chance to prove he can handle starting games for Atleti.

    Bottom line, as long as he doesn’t get sold, I won’t complain too much. But I hope his value and talent will shine through and that he catches a big break soon.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    You simply can’t compare Porto’s style of play to Atleti’s, in fact, you can’t compare any team to Atleti .
    And you can’t compare Super Liga to La Liga, Super Liga is hardly among the top 10 in Europe, leagues like the Turkish & the Ukrainian may have been stronger than it in recent years .

  • Akinfewa

    i mean on the champions league,, oliver played good. and you can compare when diego plays 433 its same

  • Mrtn

    I don’t think he is great player, and surely not for us.
    I never understood the hype surrounding him among Atleti fans, fisrt because he hasn’t done anything worh mentioning yet in his career (apart from having fantastic youtube skills videos as a teen…) and shopping in Real stores.
    He might be a bit like Arda, I agree, but he is far-far away from Arda’s standards, plus I also consider Arda not being a very useful player. Altough, I was a big fan of Arda since his break in Galatasary back in the days, and I can tell Arda was a much better player at this age, unfortunately he couldn’t develpoe the way he should have had.
    So, I also watched Oli playing in Porto in SL last year, I watch him taking on the filed with us, and I still can’t figure out why many Atleticos fell in love with him so much.
    He is sooooo sloppy, and I don’t only think about his running speed (which is not so good) but the way he moves and reacts: it’s like slow motion in a fast league and a super fast team like Atleti… He always looks like losing possession, can hardly track opponent play, like he couldn’t figure out what is going on around him.

    Now I can see some even call him the best passer in the team… this is true love guys, when everything your crush does seems perfect. I guess Oli even shits gold with the odor of garden roses and fresh ocean… C’mon guys, we got half the team passing much better than him. He might try some “key passes” but he just fails. And he can’t do even simple passes in the defending area instead he gives the ball to the opponent, as anyone can remember.
    Finally, his phisique sucks, he has been strengthened still looks and moves like a child in the group of men.

    +1: he’s a madridista, or at least not an Atleti, his first club was Real where he was rejected. At least he still shops in their stores… 😀
    I would let him go and sign someone like Gaitan, Milner, who are natural fighters in attacking positions as Cholo wants even his attackers to be like that. Oli will never be like this.

    Vamos Atleti

  • BlasiusMagnus

    according to spanish newspapers cholo left him out of the squad against sevilla.

  • Kris

    Oliver has no role to play this season, other than warming the bench, if he even makes it that far. I think Oliver should leave. No reason to keep him and waste his talent when he can be getting regular minutes for another team. It’s quite clear that he doesn’t fit in to our system of play and doesn’t need to adapt if he doesn’t want to and need to. If he can go to another club and play the type of football that he was born to play, he should do just that. I hope we don’t try to block any offers for him if he really wants to leave. No reason to keep him if he doesn’t want to stay. No reason to stay if you are not going to be part of the team.