AF Pow-wow: Assessing our summer moves

Atleti move into pole position in Group D

While we sit here and wait for our beloved Atlético to kick some ass again, the AtléticoFans gang offered opinions on the club’s wheelings and dealings over the summer.

Here’s what our writers had to say:

Arthur: If I were to give this transfer season a rating from 1 to 10, it would probably be an 8. I think the team’s made some splendid transfers, and that we have a very strong team.  I give it an 8 and not a higher rating for a couple of reasons, with Guilavogui being the main one.

I have absolutely nothing against our new French midfielder. What I do have a problem with is his price tag (we reportedly paid €10 million for the young French international). Though I consider it a reasonable fee for what we’re getting, what irks me is that we never signed Capoue for that amount. Gil Marín reportedly refused to raise the offer from €7 to €10 million, even though Capoue is a much better player than Guilavogui — although I don’t question our Frenchman’s skill or his capacity to improve. The other thing that angered me quite a bit was that we didn’t sign any creative attacking midfielders, the position we need to reinforce most. We haven’t done anything about it. There were several players we could have tried to sign this transfer window: Honda, Gourcuff, Kagawa, and even Kaká. Hopefully we get a nice surprise in the next transfer window. As far as the other transfers: Léo, Villa, Aranzubia, Alderweireld, Giménez… all great signings that should give our team a big boost compared to last season. I expect big things from this squad. Let’s see if they can accomplish them.

Ricky: Following  the 1-10 grading scale, I would say the club should be happy to settle for a 6. Let’s sum up: the coach asked for a single player. One, and only one. Was it really that impossible to bring in Diego, Atleti? Was it really? The club decides not to produce a single serious offer for the player all summer long. For that, Caminero deserves a 1 or less — he should earn himself a pink slip more than a grade, in my opinion. The thing is, Simeone stepped in for the club after their inability, and in only two days secured Demichelis on a free transfer, as well as Villa. The move for Villa might be a good one, or not, depending on what the fine print says with regards to Barcelona and a possible right of first refusal, should we see fit to sell some of our youth players.

Atleti fans, by now, will have grown to hate hidden clauses and pacts made behind closed doors regarding  player contracts; Falcao, Kun Agüero, even Torres, comes to mind… the list is long, in any case. Once Simeone returned from his holidays, the club seemed to get a wake up call. Or he raised hell behind closed doors. We will probably never know.

With only Léo Baptistão and Giménez signed, Atleti have been swift at the end of the transfer market window to bring in [apparently] good footballers — according to some who have seen them play frequently, Alderweireld and Guilavogui are solid options, but second choice, in most cases. I think the team has based decisions regarding the goalkeeping position more on the issues of cash flow, commissions, and third party interests. Capoue and Eriksen are both playing in north London, Toulalan is in France, and after €80 million has been cashed, only 30 have been invested. Simeone can make this group of players work. Adrián is staying (that is great news), and as a whole, Atleti seem a more solid outfit than in previous seasons, so that should be enough to keep everyone happy.

Gert: Let’s start with Demichelis. Experience came for free. I was happy, because we had a decent backup instead of Cata, but now that we got €5 million for him (and it seems he’s picked up an injury at City), I’m happy we got rid of him. Alderweireld is young, much more motivated, and has potential. I doubt he can work himself into the first team this season though, but Copa games and  subbing for an injured or suspended player should give him time to settle into La Liga. Add Giménez, and you’ve got plenty of competition at the back.

The movements between the posts give me the creeps. It definitely means we won’t be counting on Courtois next year, and, being a Belgian, that makes me sad. By buying and loaning out Roberto, it seems we have a plan though, so let’s be positive about it.

Up front, we did well with Villa, of course. A true bargain. Experience, technique, motivation, at not even €5 million. Great transfer. Léo will fit perfectly into the team as well, has great potential, and had a promising year at Rayo last season.

But, like Arthur, what disappoints me most is our failure to sign a good playmaker. If it was a financial issue, I honestly would rather have sold Adrián. It seems the Asturian has trouble finding his old form. On the other hand, I’m glad he stayed because I believe he is a big factor in the dressing room, being Juanfran’s best friend. Let’s hope Óliver can step up, prove himself, and fill in the playmaking role with Arda.

I don’t know too much about Guilavogui.

All around, I’d give ourselves a 7 out of 10. We added depth and competition to the squad, but I believe we overpaid for some players, i.e. Roberto, Alderweireld, and Guilavogui.

Susanne: I have some mixed feelings about our summer movements. We knew from the beginning that our budget to sign was more than limited, and that we will have to focus on targeting and signing specific players for certain positions. We did a good job with Villa and Léo.

I don’t know why, but I had a feeling right from the start of the summer that all the rumours would not lead to very much in the end. For me, the main position we needed to fill was the spot of a “Diego-like” player. Having followed Diego’s path over the last months here in Germany, it was kind of clear that we were not going to sign him, as Atleti would never pay for him. What remains at the end of the summer is that we have not filled that position.

Another impression I got is that the Atleti board seemed to not want to pay for anyone. We lost several players because of Atlético’s desperate attempts to save money. No disrespect to the players we signed in the end, but I honestly think we might have had better options during the summer. On the other hand, we spent an ridiculous amount of money on the useless transfer of Roberto, and kept moving on the goalkeeper’s position, although it was not a top priority.

Despite that, I think we have a strong team.

  • Bess

    Capoue wasn’t for 10 Mio. €, he change the club for about 15 Mio. € + his wage would be for us astronomous, so i think it was the right desicion to sign Guilavogui.

    The reason why we didn’t buy a attacking midfielder is, that we have Koke, Raul Garcia and Oliver for this position. We haven’t the space to add an attacking midfilder, because we play with 2 forwards.

  • Atleti10

    This was a fantastic transfer window. We are a stronger squad than last year and we have managed to pay off a significant amount of tax debt which is essential going forward.

    I agree with Bess, its time we give Oliver a chance to fill that creative role however I believe Arda and Koke are more than capable of creating chances. I believe Guilavogui will be a great player for Atleti.

  • yon

    Aside from the GK situation I am very very happy with the squad!

  • kris

    I say we had a great transfer window,, really.. And like Atleti10 stated,, we paid a good amount of tax debt and we really needed that to become a top club.. We have a great season to look forward to. Aupa Atleti!

  • piserakos

    let’s see… i think villa was a trully bargain(hope there is not a secret deal and it’s only this first choice), demichelish was free money anderweild is a very good player and with bright future gimenez(i haven’t seen him play) but was almost free and very promising player and leo can be a top-class striker in the future… i don’t really know ginalowi(or what his name is) but a 20years old player with 3 already games at france national and one of the best players of saint-etienne sound really promising so i think and hope 10mill is a bargain… i don’t really like roberto-pizzi trade… i don’t think pizzi worths ONLY 6mill and i believe we could buy roberto or someone at his class for less money… we didn’t bought a ‘diego’ style player for 2 reasons… 1st we play 4-4-2 diego is a n’10 and he is good at 4-5-1 so we didn’t needed him and now the job diego did koke does with oliver and raul so if we bought him we had to get rid of someone…. aupa atleti…

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Arthur : I agree with Bess, the transfer fee was not the only issue about signing Capoue, there was also his wage which I believe is 2 times more than Guilavogui’s .. maybe more

    and Ricky :
    “after €80 million has been cashed, 30 have been invested”
    you make it sound like we had a choice, but we all know that we didn’t
    30 million was our limit set by LFP, and it is a big number compared to the limits of other clubs

    and knowing that 30 million was our limit, and according to the “inflated” players prices, and after the great business with Demichelis and Joel (3rd goalkeeper sold for 5 million), I give the board 9 out 10

  • Kulan

    Capoue a much better player than Guilavogui? Who is playing as à starter for France right now? That’s right, Guilavogui. He is raw talent!

  • GreekRojiblanco(piserakos)

    agree with kulan… i also want to add that atleti paid about 50-60 millions the last month in order to reduce the dept that’s something positive…

  • starvs

    I was upset at first about Guilavogui over Capoue as well, but really, a team like Atleti has to gamble on upside. We are never going to splash out 40m to get a fucking elite midfield mother fucker like Yaya Toure or something, so something like this is our best shot. We know what Capoue is, and it’s very good, but fuck it, let’s swing for the fences.

  • Jeronamo

    For some reason I also believe Guilavogui is gonna do great and I don’t even know much about him, maybe it’s just a feeling but hey sometimes you gotta go with feelings. Its still sad we missed out on a creative buy but I hope this means Oliver will get much more playing time

  • arjit

    Guilavogui must have something great to offer if he starts games ahead of capoe and pogba for France like yesterday. I’ve got a good feeling about him.

  • kris

    Guilavogui will be big for us for the present and the future…

  • kris

    Aww,, shit,, Madrid lost the bid… Does this mean that Nuevo Estadio will not be completed or else where will Gil get the money from?? I don’t mind staying at the Calderon one bit..

  • Jimbo_With_the_Dancinshoes

    i’m sorry but we’re gonna leave the calderon anyway.. although now we are gonna have a much more feel to our stadium as the fans will be much closer to the field as we wont have running track around the pitch. so all in all this is great news for us and Atletico in general as there will be room for a hole lot more fans. Where the money will come from I have no idea.

  • kris

    Jimbo that’s what I said about the new stadium as well.i am just wondering where the money is gonna come from as I hope we don’t have to add more debt than we already have…