Thomas Partey (27 years old) is a basic piece in the Cholo schemes. The Ghanaian is the third player with the most minutes this season (3571 ’), only behind Oblak (4356) and Saúl (4156).
He has participated in a total of 46 of the 49 that the rojiblanco club have played Until now. However, in the last LaLiga game against Real Sociedad in the Wanda Metropolitano, held last Sunday 19, the midfielder had to retire after 56 minutes due to muscle discomfort. After the relevant tests, a micro-breakage was detected that will remove him from the playing fields for a period of three weeks. This makes him be serious doubt for the Champions League quarterfinal match against Leipzig in Lisbon (Thursday, August 13, 9:00 p.m.).
The more than possible loss of Thomas presents Simeone with a dilemma about which option is the most suitable to cover such a relevant place in the mattress fabric.
The most logical options would be bet on a natural relay, as would be Herrera, O well move captain, Koke, from the wing, where he usually plays, to the midfielder, its original position from the lower categories. Each of the possibilities has its pros and cons and will depend on what type of match Simeone wants to carry out.
Throughout this season, Thomas has not been part of the rojiblanco eleven in a total of 10 games (nine in LaLiga and the Copa del Rey against Cultural Leonesa).
In those matches, his coach chose to use Llorente instead (against Eibar at the Metropolitano, Sevilla and Mallorca, both also at home, and Getafe at the Coliseum), Vitolo (against Real Sociedad at Reale Arena ), Herrera (against Celta in the mattress fief, Alavés in Mendizorroza and Osasuna in El Sadar).
Also, against Granada in the New Los Cármenes played as midfielders Herrera and Llorente before the absences of Saúl and the Ghanaian.
Finally, in the Cup match, Simeone took out a team with Saúl, Herrera, and Llorente accompanying Vitolo in midfield.
So if we don't stick to previous experience, everything indicates that the replacement could be Llorente (four times he has taken Thomas's place at eleven), which would move Koke to the natural place of the Ghanaian.
The reason is that, from the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Liverpool at Anfield, in which Marcos was uncovered as a scorer, the Madrid midfielder has gone on to occupy more advanced positions, being a player on the right-wing or even second striker.
That would make mattresses bet on a midfield formed by Koke and Saúl, leaving the band for players like Llorente, Correa, Carrasco or Vitolo.
All this, of course, will depend on how the Simeone party wants to approach it. If you don't want to touch the scheme too much, your bet would surely be Herrera, who is the only one who plays as a pure midfielder and, therefore, the most natural replacement for the loss of Thomas. That would allow the captain to maintain his usual band position.
However, if Cholo wanted to turn around and go for the match from the beginning, the Koke-Saúl option would undoubtedly be the most offensive possible in the midfield, since it would allow him to bet on more offensive players in the bands. I could go out with a 4-2-4, putting all the cards on the table to take the tie.
This season He has already used the Koke-Saúl formula together at the start carrying the team handle in three games in which Thomas was absent (with a balance of two wins and one loss and a balance of five goals in favor and two against), so it would not be unreasonable for this to be the final decision either.