Atletico Madrid Their eight new arrivals are fitting in
Whether or not Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid have done the right business this summer is a matter of person opinion, but it’s almost impossible to argue that the club haven’t done an exceptional job integrating these eight new signings with the first-team squad.
Simeone‘s system needs a strong defence to succeed and the club have endeavoured to rebuild the structure after some high-profile departures.
Kieran Trippier, Renan Lodi, Felipe and Mario Hermoso have all arrived as part of the defensive reshuffle and Simeone and his coaching staff have been working very closely with them to ensure they’re fully clear on the team’s style at the back.
Rarely do football teams get such extended periods of coaching without a barrage of matches disrupting the process and Atleti have enjoyed one of their more peaceful pre-season periods in recent memory.
Jan Oblak spoke to MARCA and enthused about just how quickly the new players had settled into life with Los Colchoneros, and there are particularly high hopes for Joao Felix this term.
Despite his price tag, the teenager is still a relatively unknown quantity after just one stellar year with Benfica.
There was almost a sense that Atleti would need to take much of the 2019/20 season just to see what they had, however his adaptation in pre-season has stunned those close to the camp.
His performance against Real Madrid was bordering on the ridiculous as he scored a fine goal and contributed two assists in a 7-3 victory.
He dovetailed so well with Diego Costa and didn’t seem to have any trouble adapting to the team’s attacking rhythm – in actual fact, he was leading it.
Marcos Llorente and Hector Herrera will find it difficult to break into a midfield which contains Saul Niguez and Koke, but the duo have been signed for depth and an injection of quality when the former River Plate coach has to rotate.
It’s similar with Ivan Saponjic, who’ll be the backup option in attack behind the likes of Costa and Alvaro Morata.
Whilst some teams have focused on fitness work or dramatic swap deals this summer, Los Rojiblancos have done their business early and had all of their new signings available to work in the United States.
Every player will feel integrated and aware of what is required of them so that Simeone will be able to trust whatever starting XI he puts out when March arrives and the season splinters into incredibly tough stretches of matches.