IBWM StaffComment

Luciano Vietto

IBWM StaffComment

21     Striker     Atlètico Madrid     Argentina



Wiry, free scoring Agüero lite disregarded by Estudiantes as a teenager and salvaged by Diego Simeone at Racing. Cue inevitable Argentine league goal rush and move to Europe with impressive scoring tally maintained at Villarreal.


2015 has been...

A step up in class.

Vietto's selection into the IBWM100 last year coincided with a purple patch for the striker for which he was awarded La Liga’s player of the month trophy in December 2014. Four goals in three games across the festive period, including the winner against Atlético, were illustrative of where Vietto was at while Villarreal reaped the benefit accordingly.

A ten match unbeaten run at this point suggested that El Submarino Amarillo were very much on course to gatecrash the Champions League party. Indeed, Vietto's 51st minute strike at Camp Nou at the beginning of February gave his side a lead which, had they been able to see things through, would have royally put the cat amongst the pigeons. Instead, a quick fire response from Rafinha and some bloke called Messi restored the universe’s natural order and left Villarreal to dream. 

A string of substitute appearances followed as Villarreal consolidated an impressive sixth place finish before the season drew to a close.  For Vietto, impressive performances in the Europa League would follow, before injury caught up and curtailed his season. The die had been cast however, and it was perhaps one of Vietto's stand out performances against Atlético in which he inflicted their first home league defeat in 18 months that set the tone for a reconciliation with mentor Simeone in the summer. 

A sluggish start to life at Atlético has ensued; indeed Simeone was reported to have raised a smile at Vietto struggling to keep up with his new colleagues in pre-season training.  Nevertheless, his first goal for the club against cross city leviathans Real in October will have done wonders for his self-esteem.  2015 has run at a slower pace, but it seems churlish to suggest that more goals will not follow.


What's next?

A return to full fitness is the minimum requirement following a bout of appendicitis which sent the striker for surgery and a spell on the sidelines. On his return there are few guarantees of regular football, Atlético now boast one of the most able front lines in European football and it will likely only be an injury to two of Griezmann, Fernando Torres or Jackson Martinez that will facilitate a start. But it's been Vietto's ability to make an impact when arriving as a substitute that is proving to be the striker’s greatest worth, as illustrated by his equaliser against Real.. In addition, Vietto very obviously has a place in his manager's heart and he could not be better placed to develop further. 

Unlikely to ever be a prolific scorer, Vietto is a streetwise kid that will dip in and out of the number 9 and 10 roles in years the years ahead to great effect.


C     A long term punt capable of making an impact if required.  Get fit, get going


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