As Atletico Madrid took on Real Madrid on Saturday, Lucas Torreira made it eight consecutive squad appearances on the bench.
When Torreira first joined Atletico Madrid in October, it initially seemed like he’d play a key role in their season. They made such an effort to bring him in, and he started their first two league games, appearing from the bench against Bayern in between.
But since that second start on October 24th, he hasn’t made any more. He missed three games with coronavirus, but appeared on the bench for a further eight, coming on in six. He’s up to 67 minutes in the last seven weeks.
Diego Simeone made his full five substitutions against Real Madrid, and Torreira wasn’t one of them.
In fairness, part of the problem was that Atletico were in such good form up until this point. They’d won every single league game since Torreira joined, whether he started, came off the bench, or missed out completely.
It’s always hard to break in when the team are performing well without you. Perhaps the end of that run with a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid could spell the start of Torreira’s re-inclusion.
If their form continues to dip in the coming games, that could be his chance. For now, the loan move to Spain isn’t looking like a good one.