When Juanfran had missed the decisive penalty in the shootout against their bitter rivals and illustrious neighbors Real Madrid, tears were flowing everywhere. While everyone empathized with the players, it was their manager Diego Someone who was heartbroken the most. It was therefore his statement to “Take stock” and “Think about the future”. Having been beaten by a team that was clearly the second best, he knew where the difference lay.
Someone stays but will the board back him up?
As much as he tried to replicate the unbelievable achievements of the Rojiblancos from their title-winning campaign, he knew deep down it was an improbable ask. Not until, they like their neighbors too brought proven players. Goalscorers who could guarantee to deliver on the big stage for them or the ones who could guarantee goals and three points in the La Liga. they are rumoured to be going after Diego Costa and Gonzalo Higuain among other names but the recent comments by the latter’s brother to see out his contract with the Naples outfit has proven to be a big roadblock for them.
Gaitan a welcome addition but can they land a star striker?
When Fernando Torres came up with some decisive goals late in the campaign last season, it was a welcome news for Diego Simeone. It was thought to be an indication of coming into the form that made “El Nino” the world’s most feared striker while he was with Liverpool. In Addition, it had taken off the burden from Antoine Griezmann’s shoulders. With the failure of Jackson Martinez, somebody had to put their hand up and it was Torres who did by scoring crucial goals in the Champions league as well La Liga, much to the delight of the fans of his boyhood club.
But the failure to find a net after Yannick Ferreira Carrasco’s equaliser only sought to highlight the achilles heel for Simeone’s men. It is that very reason, that Diego Simeone has demanded the club hierarchy to buy a proven goalscorer, a big name striker to send out a message but more importantly add much needed attacking threat to his side. The signing of Nicolas Gaitan from Benfica has certainly been good news but more needs to be done by the club hierarchy if they don’t want to lose Simeone next term.
The Looming Transfer ban
The looming transfer abn of two windows for both the Madrid based outfits should also be considered by the Atletico board. While Luciano Vietto and Ferreira Carrasco have been youthful additions, they know that some more smart buys akin to what Barcelona did prior to their treble winning season will stand them in good stead going forward. Though Real Madrid have won the Champions League, their past dealings in transfer market have been short of being exceptional. Rio Ferdinand’s comments linking them to a “Madhouse” while brushing aside rumours linking them with Mauricio Pochettino do hold some water.
Buying two players
Buying of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos the season prior to it were indeed eye catching but the merit was lacking, especially considering they had to let go Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso hampering the balance of the side. So it’s not far fetched to expect them to replicate their past failings. The blunders from their neighbors however, will not abet them in their clashes against the Barcelona. The Catalans have gone on with the their transfer business which has been commendable to say the least. Their big money signings have delivered while the only failure from last two seasons has turned out to be Thomas Vermaelen and to some extent Jeremy Mathieu.
However, taking a page or two out from their rival’s transfer policy can do a world of good. Additionally, the prospect of playing under Simeone’s management that is relished by many players and is trumped only by the lure of the Premier league. Stopping Zidane and his men will be by no means easy and so will be the case with Enrique’s wards. While Simeone in his upcoming press conferences will again play the usual “Third place finish” in La Liga comment, many know deep down there is nothing but beating their cross town rivals to La Liga championship and the Champions league crown that El Cholo wants to accomplish