In recent years, Atletico Madrid have punched above their financial weight in Spain’s La Liga. Los Rojiblancos have given Spain’s big-two Barcelona and Real Madrid a few bloody noses in recent seasons and stayed competitive against the giants of the Spanish game.
In fact, last season Diego Simeone’s men finished second in La Liga, far behind Barcelona, but also well ahead of city rivals Real Madrid. While there has been talk about the need for a rebuild at Los Blancos, Atletico will be in great need of a rebuild this summer too.
An exodus of stars this summer
Atletico will lose a number of star players this summer. Los Rojiblancos are losing virtually their whole defence. Defensive rock Diego Godin is joining Italian giants Inter on a free transfer, while veteran full-backs Juanfran and Felipe Luis will leave as free agents.
Highly-rated French international Lucas Hernandez is leaving for Bayern Munich for a massive fee, while his compatriot Antoine Griezmann has also already told the club he is leaving.
Then you have the likes of Thomas Partey’s link with Manchester United and Manchester City’s interest in central midfielder Rodri. The way Atletico are going they may not have a starting line-up by the end of the season.
Simeone has been incredibly loyal to Atletico
Atletico’s Argentinian boss Diego Simeone is regarded as one of the best in the business. The fact that El Cholo has managed to keep Atletico within touching distance of Spain’s big-two illustrates his managerial abilities.
He has been tremendously loyal to the club from the Spanish capital, despite reported interest in his services from numerous other clubs in recent years. Many bosses with less passion and determination would have left Atletico by now in search of less of a challenge.
However, Simeone has never been scared of a challenge during his time as a player or a coach in the beautiful game. He just keeps working hard to improve his team. This summer he may face his toughest ever challenge in rebuilding a whole backline and maybe even team if media reports are true.
I doubt many would blame him if he walked away from Atletico this summer and found an easier job. However, I just see Simeone getting on with the job and still attempting to strive for his team to get better next season.
Face a tough campaign next season
Atletico will face a tough campaign next season. Not only are they losing some key players, but Barcelona have also already strengthened and look set to strengthen their title-winning squad. Meanwhile, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is looking to revamp his squad this summer.
Atletico are third-favourites for La Liga next season. Unless they pull off some miraculous moves in the transfer market this summer, Los Rojiblancos will struggle to maintain their valiant challenge against the Catalan giants and also their city rivals.
This summer could be a key one for both Atletico Madrid and their boss Diego Simeone, who could easily have jumped ship if he was not so determined and loyal.
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