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Édier Ocampo: Atletico Nacional's very own Colombian Marcelo

Edier Ocampo

Édier Ocampo has been an integral player for Colombian outfit Atletico Nacional since returning from his loan spell with Fortaleza.

Despite the club struggling for form in the early exchanges of the season, the flying full-back has certainly caught the eye. Naturally positioned as a right-back, arguably his best performances have come when playing in a more advanced position, as Atletico Nacional look to climb the Primera A table.

On hand to talk you through the 20-year-old is Kai Watson, the man behind @RangersJournal, who has been monitoring his progress and explains why European clubs should be taking a closer look.

Player Profile: Édier Ocampo

Having come through Atletico Nacional's youth academy, Ocampo's loan spell at Fortaleza was where he was able to truly develop his game.

Making 17 appearances for the club, the 20-year-old was able to return to his parent club prepared and ready to fight for a spot in the first-team.

With 23 appearances and three assists in his first full season back with the club, Ocampo is now one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Visually, one of Ocampo's key assets is his electric pace. The full back turned winger is fast both with and without the ball, being able to track back and cover for his team, or alternatively carry the ball up the pitch and into attacking areas.

Another key strength to his game is his tenacity. For someone who is so gifted going forward, the Colombian loves the art of defending.

His constant pressure to smother an opponent often frustrates them into giving the ball away. Ocamp’s always looking to win the ball back but knows when to make key sliding tackles when called upon.

However, his most impressive attribute is his ball carrying ability.

It's a bold comparison, but his close control is similar to Fluminense's Marcelo. His willingness to try something different to get out of tight spots makes him unpredictable in possession.

To highlight how impressive his dribbling ability is, in his first six Primera A Apertura appearances this season, his dribbling success rate stands at 63.2%. Defensively, Ocampo is just as strong, averaging 1.16 fouls won per match.

Although his defensive numbers standout, he can be overly aggressive in the tackle; an area of his game which needs brushing up.

He’s the perfect candidate for teams who love to press and remain on the front foot because of the way in which he hounds opponents - he will need to mature his overall game if he is to progress his career.

A key year ahead

Where Edier Ocampo goes next will depend on what position he plays this season. As a full back he could be a real asset to a club who dominate possession and play mostly on the front foot.

However, as a winger, the 20-year-old could be a threat for teams which prefer their wingers to play on the outside.

As of yet, there haven't been any concrete links to bring Ocampo to Europe. However, with his eye-catching ability with the ball at his feet and his versatility down the right side, it won’t be long before clubs start to take notice.

Clubs such as Rangers, who have relationships with Colombian players, may be the ideal move for him. 

Joining a club like Rangers, who dominate the ball and perpetually attack their opponents, would help Ocampo's transition across to European football.

With Atletico Nacional looking to qualify for the Copa Libertadores group stage, this would be the perfect stage for him to showcase his talents. 

Atletico Nacional will face Nacional Asuncion in phase two of the Libertadores qualifiers.


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