The new era of Simeone
Atletico Madrid's head coach, Argentinian Diego Pablo Simeone, attends a press conference at the Wanda sports city in Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain, May 17, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/Rodrigo Jimenez
Madrid, May 20 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid is on the brink of a new era under head coach Diego Simeone, led by Koke Resurreccion, Jan Oblak, Jose Gimenez and Saul Ñiguez, and ??at least seven reinforcements for the Spanish club, among them a replacement for Antoine Griezmann.
The French international Griezmann confirmed on May 14 that he will be leaving Atletico after the end of the current season.
From the end of one cycle to the beginning of another, there are no possible transitions in a club of this magnitude, or in a group of such ambition, regardless of the loss of Griezmann.
Diego Godin, Juanfran Torres and likely Filipe Luis are the only players left from Simeone’s starting 11.
In March, Lucas Hernandez left the squad for the German club Bayern Munich.
It is the moment of the definitive path in front of Oblak, Koke, Gimenez, Saul and Morata, whose contributions since January have been more than convincing, as well as his involvement and commitment to Atletico.
Morata, who joined Atletico on loan from Chelsea, will continue with the La Liga side.
Simeone has to restructure a team affected by the departures of five defenders, and the departure of Griezmann, one of Atletico’s best scorers - with 133 goals - not only during his five seasons but in the last 40 years of the Spanish club.
Simeone secured the signing of Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera, whose contract with Oporto came to an end.
Meanwhile, the Spanish club’s coach is awaiting the decision of Rodrigo Hernandez whether he will continue with Atletico or sign with another club.
Several teams, including Manchester City, are willing to pay Hernandez’s buyout clause of 70 million euros.
During Friday’s presser, the 49-year-old coach said that “it is hard to go after a superstar. We will not do that. We will look for a player that could become a Griezmann in the future, like when we signed Griezmann from Real Sociedad.”
He added that the same happened “when we signed Rodrigo from Villarreal. Or Oblak from Portugal. They then became the footballers they are today. That is who we are.”
Atletico has recovered from situations like this in recent times, after the exits of Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Arda Turan.
However, the continuity of goalkeeper Jan Oblak, possibly Antonio Adan also, is confirmed as well as midfielder Resurreccion, Ñiguez, Thomas Partey and Thomas Lemar.
Simeone also counts on forwards Morata and Costa to stay. EFE