Atlético has only made one signing (Ivo Grbic) and, with three weeks to go on the market, only two or three more are expected. The plan put together a year ago aimed to give continuity to the project. Eight new faces came last summer (Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso, Lodi, Herrera, Llorente, João Félix and Saponjic), plus the return of Vrsaljko following his injury and assignment in January Carrasco. Then there was talk of a “year of transition”. That period of adaptation is over and now the team, with almost the same pieces, needs the growth of footballers who are no longer rookies, especially the youngest, plus the arrival of that pair of reinforcements at least.
João Félix: he has plenty of quality, he lacks constancy …
It is Atlético's most exciting footballer. During his first year, João (20 years old) left good samples of their quality, from the first game (that game against Getafe that ended in a penalty) to the last (he pulled the team against Leipzig and caused another penalty that he scored). You sense a great room for growth and, for that reason, it has to be decisive in more games. It seems that Simeone has already ruled out using it with the band and will give him freedom behind the tip. His explosion and his confirmation as a crack would be the best news for Atleti, who above does not have a goal to spare.
Lodi: finished reinforced after doubts
The left-back (22 years old) arrived as a signing of present and future. The beginning was not easy for him and he came to have a bad time, as he himself admitted, despite having assured ownership. However, the troubles he was going through in defense forced Simeone to replace him on several occasions. But Lodi, who looked with the ball and in attack, was improving when it was time to close back and was especially brilliant against Liverpool. For this course he also starts as indisputable, but he is more seasoned. If he continues to grow, he will give a lot to the team in defense and attack.
Marcos Llorente: the revelation must be consolidated
The most obvious change between the first season and the second is that of Llorente. A year ago, the Madrid (25) arrived to fill the vacancy of Rodrigo Hernandez. It didn't work, but Simeone reconfigured it. First on the right wing and then closer to the rival goal. Anfield's two goals changed his life and he became a forward. It was one of the sensations of the League after the break, but now it's time to consolidate as an attacking footballer. It has power and good shot, but it will no longer be a surprise for rivals.
Trippier: pubalgia limited him
Against all odds, it was probably the signing that joined the fastest. The Englishman (29) quickly won the affection of the fans, his centers from the right convinced and Simeone chose him as the first right-back almost without discussion. But the Super Cup arrived (January) and Trippier had to stop for a pubalgia that had been dragging. He returned in March, but his performance was no longer as good. After the break, in fact, Arias was very close to winning the site. For this course he must recover the tone of his first rojiblanco games. As a challenge, you can dare to achieve some goal from direct free kick.
Carrasco – Has gallons and should settle
The Belgian (27) arrived on the last day of January and being out of shape took him away from Simeone's plans, which left him a very secondary role (156 'in eight games) until the break. But when he returned he entered the preferences of the coach and was of the most outstanding in attack, brilliant at the Camp Nou and of the little that was saved against Leipzig. Now he is no longer a loaned footballer, but a bet of the club in the short and long term. In Cholo's head is ahead of Vitolo and Lemar and, at the very least, at the height of Correa. You see him more mature and supportive than in the first stage and has sparkle. It is called to be important.
Herrera: irregular and with the future in the air
Herrera (30) arrived free from Porto and, Although it was difficult for him to enter, he was winning over Simeone. His debut was sweet, with the tying goal against Juve, and since October he became important, either in the eleven or as a reserve, but he always played. A muscle injury just when he was going to start at the Bernabéu (February 1) slowed his progression and he did not play again until after the break. But then Llorente and Carrasco had grown up and it became very expensive to join the team. Even so, Thomas' injury opened the door to eleven against Leipzig, but punctured. His continuity is not assured, but if he continues he has the capacity to be the one from November-January, a midfielder with criteria.
Felipe, Hermoso, Saponjic …
Felipe finds it difficult to improve his performance in the first year, Well, until the competition stopped in March he was the best of the team together with Oblak, but confinement did not sit well with him. For Beautiful, for its part, it will not be easy to grow, since part with the role of central room with which the season ended. SaponjicLikewise, he can also leave and if he stays he will do it as last option of attack.