You never miss something until it's taken away. That seems to be the case now that Tiago Mendes' broken leg has really sunk in and Atletico try to find his replacement. With the help of Sportsmatrix, we took a look at Tiago over the month of November and compared him to some other crafty central and deep-lying midfielders.
He holds his own against some of the top rated midfielders in Europe and based on the stats we have displayed, it is no surprise that Atletico targeted Thiago Motta as cover for the Portuguese tempo-setter. They are most similar across all categories and the most assured of all the midfielders we took a look at.
Replacing Tiago will be a momentous task that will most likely be shared between Saul, Gabi, Koke and Thomas over the course of the winter and into the new year. Saul Niguez has played well in the defensive midfield role but is still young and is learning his trade and the nuance of the position. Gabi is the wisest of all three players but lacks the finer aspects of the game that Tiago displayed on a weekly basis. Koke sits in a more attacking position and will be vital to everything Atletico do over the next few months.