Although the winter transfer market is not open yet, it is a very public secret that Augusto Fernandez will land in Atletico Madrid in a few days. The Argentinian central midfielder appears to be a special request, arriving on express, from Simeone in order to cover up for Tiago, who will be out with an unfortunate leg break for quite some time.
Diego Simeone once thanked his mothers' players for gifting his players with "huevos grandes" or "big balls" and what he has found in Augusto Fernandez is a man willing and capable of taking risks, and who believes 100% in what Diego Simeone is doing at Atletico Madrid. This signing should be interesting.
Augusto is one of those responsible for Celta Vigo's good performance this season, which sees them as high as 4th in La Liga heading towards the second half of the league schedule. He is well known by Cholo, as he played under the Argentine at River Plate from 2007 to 2008. In Augusto, Diego Simeone probably sees the kind of experience that won't need a long time to adjust to the team's requirements.
Playing as a "5"
Interpreting the words Augusto said in an interview with Diego Torres last Saturday in El Pais, it seems clear that El Negro is that kind of footballer that loves his job and really likes to talk about it. When asked about the position he occupies and the reason why there are so few players like him in Argentina, Fernandez did not hesitate and pointed to Kranevitter as one of most promising players in this position arriving at Atletico. Argentinian football has turned ino madness, where only winning matters. It is something that affects to players. He has asked Kranevitter to forget this mentality and not let it impinge on his potential and growth as a footballer.
El Negro has not always been a defensive midfielder, or as a number '5', as it is known. His first experience there was under Daniel Passarella at River Plate. When he arrived in Spain, he played his first season as a wide player. He said, "The first three months were hard, but I adapted quickly and got 6 goals, which were very important to avoid relegation. The following season Luis Enrique came and began to alternate me between the wing and the centre."
Augusto was more than happy with the change and expressed that it is the ideal position for him due to his age and experience: "It is a role which gives you a lot of responsibility when you don't have the ball, the balance of the team depends on the midfielder with the ball because ´el 5´ is in charge of the first pass and a clear exit of play from the back gives the forwards a good chance to take advantage of their skills when this happens."
Enjoying the defensive side of the game
When asked if defensive work is a sacrifice for him or whether it is something that his vocation requires, the midfielder answered: "when I was a winger I liked going to defend. I like the friction, the contact and forcing the opposition to lose the ball. I attempt to correct that vigour because I am now in a more exposed position. If I lose the clash the rival is up against my defenders and has a superiority."
In addition he expressed his confidence when he has to be the first support for central defenders: "The idea is to always receive the ball in a good position. Communication with my central defenders and the desire to take a risk is the key. It is a responsibility that I love. I will lose some balls but I going to continue asking for them and taking that risk."
Because of his intelligence and good grasp of tactics, it seems that it will not be difficult for Augusto to adapt to such a demanding position as a "5" in Cholo's tactical set-up. These are characteristics that Tiago and he shared, so Atletico have a direct replacement in Augusto Fernandez.