Updated: Jul 28
Just hear me out on this one. Atlanta United should move Andrew Gutman from his current left back position into a defensive midfielder. This is because of the increased transition attacking potential and a better defense. And it has been proven successful in the past. Joshua Kimmich moved from right back to DM and is now widely recognized as one of the best midfielders in the word. Pep Guardiola has also played Joao Cancelo in midfield before and gotten very good results.
More Attacking Potential
When moving Andrew Gutman to defensive midfield he and Santiago Sosa would make up a double pivot in our midfield. It would open up lots of options for us to recover the ball in our back line and quickly move the ball up through the two DMs into the attack. This would allow us to take advantage of transitions as MLS teams need time to get set defensively when they lose the ball. This means that there is space in between their players and that with our fast attackers we can get in behind their defensive lines.
This is all based on us playing two defensive midfielders in the center of the park. This means that when we get the ball in our back line they will always have a passing lane to one of the DMs if they only have one central midfielder to block passing lanes. If they have two then the center back can pass it to his counterpart to open up a passing lane. This has been employed successfully by Brighton Hove & Albion in the Premier League this year. Then with the ball in the DMs they can move the ball between themselves and pass the ball into the attackers.
Better Defending Against Key Players
Most South American 10s also can play as a winger and tend to drift out wide. We have seen this in the form of Thiago Almada, Pity Martinez, and Miguel Almiron. So by playing Gutman as a DM we can better defend against this. He is a fast, determined player and he can use that to our advantage. Space is created when a 10 pushes out wide as he can sometimes be unmarked in between either the center back and full back or the midfielder and full back. But if Gutman were to track the opposition players onto the wing this would avoid the issue. It would also mean that the full back can come and defend in the middle to try to keep the ball from getting to the striker, along with help from the center backs.