Atlético Madrid confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that goalkeeper Jan Oblak has renewed his contract, putting pen to paper on a new deal that keeps him in the Spanish capital until June 2021.
The Slovenian has been one of the rojiblancos’ top performers this year, and has been rewarded for his fine form with a one year extension to his original deal from when he signed just over 18 months ago.
After cementing his place as number one towards the end of last season, Oblak has gone from strength to strength between the posts at the Vicente Calderón, and made his 50th appearance for the club in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Eibar.
Despite a shaky start – conceding three goals on a debut defeat to Olympiacos and struggling with a persistent back problem that could’ve seen him returned to Benfica – the 23 year-old has won over everybody with his calming presence and lightning fast reactions.
“I’m very happy,” he declared upon signing the renewal. “The team, coaching staff and everybody at the club have made me feel at home, and for these I wanted to stay here.”
“The renewal shows that the club have faith in me. I’m very grateful to those who made it happen, especially my agent Mika Mlaka and Miguel Ángel Gil.”
At Benfica, Oblak earned a reputation for his prowess in keeping clean sheets and he has continued that trend in Madrid, his 14 shut-outs the most of any goalkeeper in Europe’s so-called top 5 leagues.
He also has the best shots-to-saves ratio in La Liga, and is running away with the Zamora trophy with an average of just 0.48 goals conceded per game this season. The record is 0.44.
Many thought that Atleti would struggle to find a suitable replacement for fan favourite Thibaut Courtois, but the Calderón has taken Oblak to their hearts, and have a song to the tune of “Cada día te quiero más” that can often be heard after he takes a goal-kick.
“When I play I am focused on the match, but it’s always nice to hear the fans singing my name,” he said. “I want to carry on making them happy.”
We’re still awaiting details as to what Oblak’s new release clause will be, but it is expected to be an increase on the previous amount of €45m.
With goalkeepers coming at a premium these days, hopefully the new contract will put and end to rumours linking him with a move to Manchester United as a potential replacement for David de Gea, amongst other clubs.
It could also be the first in a series, with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ángel Correa and José María Giménez all in line to sign renewals ahead of our impending transfer ban.
How impressed have you been with Oblak this season? Can he emulate Courtois?