What Atalanta's striker is doing is frankly ridiculous

          We need to talk about Luis Muriel

          2021/02/15 20:35
          Connor Andrews

          For regular FIFA players, Luis Muriel is already well known. A speed demon and a cheap player to pick up, the Colombian has been all about potential since his arrival in Europe just over a decade ago.

          Muriel never lived up to his early reputation, but that’s now changing, and it really needs to be highlighted as things are starting to get a bit silly.

          Substituted on in a scoreless game against Cagliari at the weekend with 22 minutes to play, Muriel does what is becoming increasingly easy to predict, netting a stoppage-time winner for his 31st league goal in two seasons since joining Atalanta.

          The term ‘super-sub’ is bounded about a lot for players who make an impact off the bench, but what Muriel is doing is at the point where it has become rather extraordinary.

          Of all players to have scored 20 or more goals in Europe’s top five leagues since the start of last season, Muriel has the best minutes per goal rate of anyone.

          Normally for a player to lead the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland in these categories, it takes a tiny sample size, something like 10 games and six goals for the sake of argument. With 31 goals in 54 games, this is no longer a fluke by any stretch of the imagination.

          Instead, Muriel is taking the definition of a super-sub to a whole new level, and is the best in Europe at his job by some considerable distance, having been subbed on in 37 of his Serie A games compared to the 17 he’s started.

          Atalanta are achieving extraordinary things under Gian Piero Gasperini, having made the Champions League quarter-finals last season for the first time in their history, they’re now hoping to go even further with Real Madrid standing in their way this week.

          And while there’s plenty to admire about one of the most enjoyable teams to watch in European football, it may well be their most underrated asset that takes them to even bigger heights.

          Luis Muriel
          NameLuis Fernando Muriel Fruto
          Born1991-04-16(29 -yrs-old)
          PositionForward (Striker)


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