Atletico Madrid have secured their objective of finishing in the top four of LaLiga Santander, which was at times under threat after a turbulent summer in 2019.
The departures of some key players, particularly in defence with Juanfran Torres, Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez and Filipe Luis, as well as Rodri Hernandez and Antoine Griezmann in midfield and attack respectively, meant that Andrea Berta, Atletico’s sporting director, had a tough job on his hands when it came to replacing these six players.
Los Colchoneros may have disappointed in the Copa del Rey, being knocked out by Cultural Leonesa, while they also lost in the Supercopa de Espana final to Real Madrid after beating Barcelona in the semi-finals, but the eight additions they made last summer have helped secure Champions League football for next season, a competition they are still in this year.
Trippier: No problems adapting
British players typically do not settle well abroad, yet Kieran Trippier has proved that theory to not always be the case.
The right-back has contributed regularly since joining and has made everyone forget about Juanfran.
His statistics: 32 games, no goals, five assists, 2,640 minutes played.
Lodi: A long-term left-back
The left-back position was one that needed to be addressed urgently after the departures of Filipe and Lucas, but a few eyebrows were raised when Atletico bought Renan Lodi, an unknown 22-year-old from Athletico Paranaense.
He struggled a little to adapt at first, however his work with Diego Simeone soon started to pay off and he has shown that he can be the long-term solution in this role.
His statistics: 42 games, one goal, three assists, 3,227 minutes played.
Hermoso: Good signs, but not at left-back
Mario Hermoso fought to move from Espanyol to Atletico last summer and the idea was that he would be one of the centre-backs, whilst also being cover for Lodi at left-back.
He has performed well whenever he’s had to play in the middle of defence, despite having Stefan Savic, Felipe Monteiro and Jose Maria Gimenez ahead of him, but as a No.3 he’s never convinced Simeone. When he gets some continuity in the line-up, Hermoso has shown that he can contribute.
His statistics: 23 goals, no goals, no assists, 1,691 minutes played. Continue reading