De Ketelaere, the Willy Wonka of attack, lets Atalanta soar with false nine strategy

Charles De Ketelaere, who once faced mockery as ‘Kinderino’, is steadily becoming Atalanta’s ‘Willy Wonka’, leading his rivals like the umpa lumpa under his command. His transformation asserts that nothing is more gratifying than quashing your skeptics with consistent growth, hard work, and tangible results.

De Ketelaere has been on an impressive run since early December. Between December 9 and January 3, encompassing the period from Atalanta-Milan to the Coppa Italia game against Sassuolo, De Ketelaere scored four goals and made three assists in five games. His performance was exemplary, even in Atalanta’s defeat against Bologna.

One vital observation within Atalanta’s camp is that the ‘False nine’ strategy with De Ketelaere in the front currently offers the best balance of offensive quality and results. This is particularly noteworthy given Scamacca’s current form. Acting as support, finisher, and key player, De Ketelaere has emerged as the fifth-best midfielder in Serie A for successful dribbling.

At Atalanta, he is a frontrunner, creating six big chances. Out of the total 44 goals scored by the team, De Ketelaere has contributed to 11, accounting for 25% of the total goals – statistically more impactful than Ademola Lookman. Despite Lookman’s absence due to the Africa Cup of Nations, De Ketelaere, or Atalanta’s ‘Willy Wonka’, as he’s fondly referred to, is eager to continue conjuring sweet magic for his team.

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