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.