With six goals and two assists in just five matches and a string of influential performances, there really was only one choice for AtléticoFans’ latest Player of the Month award.
Yannick Carrasco has taken his game to a new level this season, and was recently rewarded for his stunning October form with a new contract that ties him down at the club for the next six years.
After joining Atleti back in the summer of 2015, Carrasco soon proved that he had what it takes to fill the void left by Arda Turan and enjoyed a successful debut campaign, playing a key role in our run to the Champions League final.
This season however, he’s taken on more responsibility and cemented his place in the starting XI, providing more a goal threat and adding much more productivity to his game.
His first goal of the season came in the win against Bayern at the end of September, capping an emphatic display with an emphatic finish after a powerful run from the halfway line.
Four days later he came off the bench to help earn three points at Valencia, but it was his showing against Granada after the international break that really made people stand up and take notice.
Atleti fell behind early on to a stunning Isaac Cuenca volley, but responded in rampant fashion with Carrasco at the spearhead, the Belgian hitting a hat-trick and then setting up another two in a 7-1 win.
He then secured another three points in the Champions League with with the only goal away at Rostov, firing home in the second half to put us within touching distance of the knockout stage.
Our only loss of the month came against Sevilla, and although they did a good job of keeping Carrasco and our other attacking players quiet, he was back on top form a week later against Málaga at the Calderón.
The former Monaco man opened the scoring with another well taken finish, and made the result safe in the final stages to make it 4-2 for ten man Atleti and calm some of the nerves inside the Calderón.
It was a goal that typified what Carrasco brings to the team, the 23 year-old running onto a fairly aimless ball and making it into something special, holding off a number of defenders before squeezing a shot past Kameni at the far post.
Simeone challenged him in pre-season to become more confident in the final third and he has answered him in the best way, already bettering his total for the whole of last year with six months to play still.
It’s not just the goals though, he’s improved in general play and is now more decisive and consistent than ever before. It wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest that he’s our most dangerous attacking player.
Having put pen to paper on a new six-year contract on October 21st, we look forward to seeing Carrasco light up the Calderón (and the Peineta) for many more years to come.
Do you agree with our choice? Just how important is Carrasco now to this Atlético team?