Opinion: Time for Quique to lay down the law

Quique Sanchez Flores

It has been made abundantly clear throughout pre-season that Diego Costa is Quique’s top choice as the team’s third striker. The Brazilian forward, who showed great promise early last season before a precipitous decline in his performance in the second half of his campaign at Valladolid, has dazzled coaches and fans alike these past few weeks and has unquestionably earned the right to finally remain with Atleti.

It has become a common refrain amongst Atléticos everywhere: Pitarch blew it. The director spent a small fortune on Asenjo last year, when he had two jewels at home in Roberto and De Gea, not to mention the revelation that has been Joel this summer. Quique proved last season upon his arrival that he wasn’t going to be afraid to thumb his nose at the directors by benching Asenjo and favoring the yet unproven canterano De Gea. A gamble that, though business wise reflected very poorly on the sporting directorship at Atleti, paid off huge dividends on the field and was no doubt vital to our Europa League success.

This season, Quique faces a very similar situation with Salvio and Costa. Upon his arrival from Lanús, the Argentine striker was hailed as the next Kun Agüero, perhaps unfairly as it put a lot of undue pressure on Toto to perform brilliantly right away, but given the hefty fee that was paid for him, it was only natural that expectations of him would be sky high.

Aside from a stellar performance against a very weak Tenerife team late in April, in which he scored two goals in the first 30 minutes and then appeared to burn out for the rest of the match, Toto hasn’t done nearly enough to justify his cost. Does this mean that we should continue to insist on keeping him around in favor of a less costly but a better prepared option so that Pitarch avoids feeling like an ass? Of course not.

That’s why I would kindly request of Quique to once again, with both cojones, do what he feels is right, what’s better for the quality of the team and not what’s best for Pitarch’s ego, and hold on to Costa.

Opinion articles are not the views of AtléticoFans and reflect only the opinions of the author.

  • Mohammed

    I think Salvio should be given more chances. He’s still young and has the potential to become a key player given that he’s used in the proper manner. May be loaning him is not a bad idea.

  • NiñoTorres

    Patience is the key with Salvio I think. He’s got a massive amount of potential and it would be ridiculous to give up on him after such a short time. Obviously we will have little choice but to loan out one of Toto and Diego Costa until January at least, and I agree that move would probably benefit Toto more, as I don’t think Diego Costa will progress any further at another club.

    Higuaín, Éver Banega and to a lesser extent Kun Agüero all took about 18 months to fully adjust but now they are three of the most influential players in the league, and I hope the same will happen with Toto!