Simeone’s squad is coming into shape

'El Cholo' will reportedly hold on to 20 players as a slew will leave on loan


Simeone gives instructions at Thursday's practice

Following a couple of weeks of at-the-crack-of-dawn training sessions and practices up to three times a day, Atlético boss Diego Simeone reportedly has a pretty good idea about who will be traveling to Monaco with him at the end of August.

According to Spanish paper AS, the Argentine tactician will narrow his squad down to 20 players for the looming 2012/13 campaign, with six footballers currently taking part in the grueling pre-season schedule set to be on their way out of the club.

Among them are: Joel, Leandro Cabrera, Rubén Micael and Diego Costa, all expected to be loaned out for the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, it is rumoured that Fran Mérida and Paulo Assunçao will be released by Atleti.

Should this indeed be the case, it is highly unlikely that playmaker Diego Ribas will be suiting up in red and white again, as Atlético do not have the funds necessary to bring him back to the Vicente Calderón permanently.

Prior to the start of pre-season, Raúl García was widely expected to be sold-off to the highest bidder after bringing up his market value in a remarkable season on-loan at Osasuna, however, the Pamplona-born midfielder has impressed ‘El Cholo’ and will likely be sticking around for another go with los Rojiblancos.

It also seems like homegrown defender Jorge Pulido will finally move up the pecking order and see an expanded role.

Reinforcements throughout the season will come in the form of youth products, with Atleti’s U-19 European Championship-winning trio of Óliver, Saúl and Manquillo said to be in store for multiple opportunities with the first team this year, though they will begin the term taking part in Segunda División B action with the B-team.

Unless a major sale is made prior to the closing of the summer transfer window, the team is largely set.

On Thursday afternoon, Simeone ended the training session with a 10-v-10 game without goalkeepers.

Team 1 included: Sílvio, Miranda, Godín, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Mario Suárez; Salvio, Raúl García, Arda Turan; and Falcao, while Team 2 included: Kader, Cata Díaz, Pulido, Cabrera; Tiago, Emre; Dani Márquez, Oliver, Cristian Rodríguez; and Borja González.

  • Derek Maaijen

    I think those two line-ups show that we really need more offensive midfielders and, unless Diego Costa sticks around, another striker. When playing 60+ games a season you need more than just Arda, Salvio, Cebolla, Adrián and Falcao for four or five offensive positions.

  • shlomgar

    You’re totally right. Costa should stick around, though you can’t really promise him a look at the shades of the grass cause he would never see it up close…

    I guess Cholo has just offered us a glance at next year starting lineup. Less creativity without Diego but much more spirit…

  • Urban

    Who knows if a good offer comes in for Salvio or RG there might still be a chance for Diego, however it is true that the club seems to lose interest in him, probably solely due to the financial factor

  • shlomgar

    Asenjo, Courtious
    Juanfran, Silvio, Filipe
    Godin, Miranda, Pulido, Cata
    Mario, Gabi, Koke, Cebolla, Tiago
    Arda, Emre, R.Garcia, Salvio
    Adrian, Falcao

    That’s 20, Cholo wants a 20 man squad. Any newcomer should push another out.
    So I belive that’s it. And it’s really not bad… Only changes I guess would be if Salvio is sold. Another would be one of the overpopulated CM position, preferably Tiago I wish, though I guess it’s more unlikely.

  • Urban

    Replace Tiago with Diego pl0x, or RG/Salvio in worst case scenario.

    And we are ready!

  • NickD85

    Could the attacking midfield role not to be fulfilled by Arda Turan and Cristian Rodriguez in tandem? In a 4-2-3-1 you could have Salvio hugging the touchline on the right, with Turan and Rodriguez switching between the left flank and central attacking midfield position as suitable?

  • Andres

    I heard Malaga is in some deep financial trouble and owes some money to Villareal. Villareal reported them to UEFA and who knows…. is it possible for Malaga to be kicked out of Champions League?

  • leika

    There was some talk that they may loose their CL spot, but I dont think that will happen. 3,5 mil isnt much for that sheikh. I heard somewhere that Malaga owes its players 45% of the wages.

  • Urban

    I heard somewhere that there is an issue but Malaga will not be dropped from the CL

  • Arjit

    Where’s Koke on that list? :O

  • Sam


  • Well its a good list although I would try to buy Botia and perhaps drop Pulido or loan him or something. Another thing i think Cebolla should be a starter instead of salvio but all i all a sturdy and descent line up. I think we have what it takes to get into the Champions League

    Wait a minute What the hell is godin doing in the starting team? Put Cata Diaz or someone else.

  • yon

    Oliver Torres

  • shlomgar

    @ Randy German
    Godin is fully trusted by our beloved leader so I guess there’s nothing we can do about it.

    @ Arjit
    Koke is with the Olympic team together with Adrian. He would probably act as a first sub there like in Atleti. Don’t worry about Koke though, Cholo loves him.

  • Hey! is like we are about to sign Bruno Soriano from Villareal. What a big capture if the rumour wil be true….