Atleti confirm Augusto Fernández signing

Cholo gets his Tiago replacement as red and whites snap up Celta captain

Thumbs up from Augusto (

Thumbs up from Augusto (

As expected, Atlético Madrid have confirmed the signing of Celta Vigo midfielder Augusto Fernández in a deal thought to be worth around €6.5m.

The Argentine international has signed a 3-and-a-half-year deal with the rojiblancos, and re-unites with Diego Simeone after winning the league under his command at River Plate back in 2008.

Augusto is the man that Cholo requested to replace Tiago in the midfield pivot, after the Portuguese veteran suffered a broken bone in his leg against Espanyol back towards the end of November.

Capable of playing both wide and in the centre, the 29 year-old has been an influential figure just in front of Celta’s defence in their rise to the top 4 of La Liga this season.

Having started his career at River – where Simeone managed him for just under a year – Augusto originally made the move to Europe in 2009 with French outfit St-Étienne, but moved back to his homeland after a low-key spell.

He went on to join Celta in 2012 after an excellent couple of years at Vélez Sarsfield, where he developed into an all-action goalscoring midfielder and a leader of the team, winning his second Argentine title in the process.

Reports state that Velez will take a percentage of his transfer fee, which could be up to around a half depending on who you believe.

At Celta he has gone from strength to strength, particularly since compatriot Eduardo Berizzo took the reigns 18 months ago. He was also named captain last year after Borja Oubiña left the club.

Last night, he played his last match for the Celestes as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Athletic, going off to an ovation from the whole stadium in the closing stages.

Raúl García scored the only goal of the game, and he revealed in an interview on Cadena SER afterwards that he told Augusto that he was joining “a great group”.

Our new man has 9 caps for Argentina, making his debut back in 2011 in a friendly against Brazil. He scored his only goal for his country a couple of years later in a 4-0 success against Guatemala, and was a World Cup runner-up in 2014.

At this key stage in the season, he brings experience and versatility to Atleti’s midfield, and should slot right in given he knows the league and the manager already.

However, he will have to wait for his debut as he can’t be registered until January 4th, so could end up making his league debut against Celta in Balaídos the following week.

Joining Augusto at the club this week is Matías Kranevitter, another former River midfielder who is cut from a similar cloth. The 22 year-old landed in Madrid on Tuesday and went straight into training with the squad.

What do you make of this signing? Is Augusto the right man to fill Tiago’s boots?

  • Dawa

    Angel Correa
    and now, Fernandez….

    I am waiting for the next Argentinain Simeone will sign… ;D

  • Urban

    Interesting signing, but taking into account all circumstances an excessive one IMHO. Thomas is developing into a great player, we have Oli, Saul, Koke, Krane came, Tiago will be back in two months, Gabi will be around for at lease one season more…

    I think instead of signing Augusto someone at our club should think a little bit about Saul’s development… it is worrying me that I have an impression that noone at the club is trying to profile him into a specific role, instead his versality is used only to fill all the gaps that happen in our squad. I am afraid this policy (if it continues) may waste his undoubted talent. He is now everything, a winger, a DM, a CM, even a striker sometimes but does he really excel at any of those roles?

  • Hannu

    I think he will be good signing but do we need him and what we gonna do with all our youngsters that needs playing time to grow and blossom? Loan some of them? Thomas? I Hope not Oliver and I bet we wont loan Saul. Simeone has said that Kranevitter is not going anywhere so what we gonna do with all these midfielders?

  • Paweł Kosiński

    We had a worrying lack of experienced cover in midfield so far. Koke seems destined for a wide berth for a foreseeable future and Saúl lacks tactical nous. Kranevitter is something of an unknown quantity in Europe and will probably only play a peripheral role this season while readied for 16/17. Tiago will be 35 this year and even when he does eventually come back around March, he’ll need time to build up his form and when he does his contract will expire. Augusto might even be a long-term solution in fact.

  • AndersAT

    I think it is a good idea to keep them all this half season to make sure we can use the ones that perform the best, then next season we can farm out a couple of the young promising players. Not bad to get some experience, but I don’t think he will get that much playing time, but then again he had been good for Celta.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I agree with Urban, an excessive signing, a panic one in my opinion .
    The midfield is overcrowded, it’s true that Gabi and Tiago are getting old while the others are too young and lack experience, but Augusto is both old (will turn 30 in April) and lack experience, his experience in UCL is zero, he played only 10 games with Argentina, 9 of them were friendlies, and he never played for a big European club .
    I would have been totally fine with this deal if it was a loan, but 3 & a half seasons .. I really can’t understand it .

    Another point : Look at those Simeone’s signings :
    Sosa played under him at Estudiantes, Vietto played under him at Racing, Augusto played under him at River, he brought Diego Ribas back, he brought Filipe back, they say Costa will comeback ..while a very promising player like Guilavogui didn’t have any chance with him, and it seems that he will be sold no mater how he does with Wolfsburg .
    Is there a pattern here ?!
    Does he prefer the players he already know and trust, or does he prefer the Latin players, or those are just few examples and some of them are coincidences and don’t mean anything ?!

    Anyway, Augusto have been very good with Celta last season and the first half of this one, and -unless he makes us sell one of our 3 homegrown midfielders, Oliver, Saul & Thomas- he is very welcome .

  • Kris

    Obviously there’s a pattern. He trusts his countrymen and older players; players with experience.
    He doesn’t do well with younger players. Which player has he actually developed in Atleti? Koke? Come on now, he’s actually been forced to play different role than his natural position. While he has done quite a remarkable job developing the team as a whole, he’s yet to develop talents to integrate to his team.

  • Chewie

    Didn’t Simeone also coach Falcao at some point?

  • Chewie

    Didn’t Simeone also coach Falcao at some point? And speaking about Tiago’s boots – maybe his absence is among the reasons we have been underperforming lately, especially with regard to passing. And maybe Augusto would prove to be the right man to do the job.

    By the way, I liked Jackson today. He didn’t have many opportunities but tried really hard to make the most of each. I prefer him over Torres although Fernando has more passion which could be useful in certain situations.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yes, but Simeone wasn’t here yet when we signed Falcao, it was Manzano, but the two who really build this great squad were not Simeone & Manzano, but Caminero & Berta, we signed Manzano after we signed almost all the players that season, except Falcao & Diego Ribas if I’m not mistaken .
    Manzano was the biggest mistake for Caminero however, but he was the 4th or 5th option, according to the rumors back then, Benitez said no and Enrique said no (we all happy now that they said no) and there wasn’t many options then, and there is still no many option now in the coaches market, more than 10 giant clubs and only 5 big coaches .

    As I just said last night in another comment : nobody else in the team could have made that lovely long pass that Oliver made to Torres and put him in one-on-one with Rayo’s GK except Tiago .
    We surly miss Tiago’s passing game, remember his 2 great passes to Juanfran in Stamford Bridge that both ended in the goal ?! .. but I believe Oliver has a great passing game as well and he should have full chance and Simeone should be more patient on him, but I don’t think that will happen .

    Jackson cost 35 million, and Vietto cost 20 million, and they have scored 3 goals each, but most people are only criticizing Torres for scoring 2 goals despite that he only cost one Cerci !!
    Jackson and Vietto cost a fortune and they are younger and much in-form than Torres, he was supposed to be 3rd choice behind them, and he was fine with it, he has achieved everything in his career and now he wants to enjoy the end of it at his childhood club, his last dream is to win a trophy with them .
    It’s not only you who prefers Jackson, it’s the normal and logical situation, but both he and Vietto didn’t make great performances and missed too many games through injuries which made Torres the first choice in a team that don’t create many chances, and sometimes no chances at all .
    But many people including some Atleti fans forget all that and enjoy making fun and telling jokes about one of our biggest legends .

  • Usavicente Calderon

    The average age of Atletico is 22. Not sure I can agree with your “older players” comment. But if Cholo can make us a winning team, I don’t care what he does.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    If he wins the Champions or La Liga, he can sign as many Argentinians as he wants. 😉