Atleti name Alessio Cerci in Champions League squad

Italian outcast also registered for La Liga after move to Bologna falls through

Knee injury means Cerci will be on the sidelines until November at least

Knee injury means Cerci will be on the sidelines until November at least

There were no new arrivals at the Vicente Calderón on transfer deadline day, but there was still drama as Atlético Madrid failed to offload flop signing Alessio Cerci.

Last year it was Raúl García, and in previous seasons we’ve seen the likes of Diego Forlán, John Heitinga and José Jurado depart on the final day of the window.

However, this could even surpass Heitingazo in terms of peculiarity.

Cerci had been set for a loan move to Bologna, but having travelled back to his homeland to sign on the dotted line, the move collapsed at the last minute after he failed a medical.

With nowhere else to go, he’s inexplicably found his way back into the fold and will be available for Cholo this season should he wish, having been named in both the Champions League and La Liga squads and given the number 17 shirt.

Cerci joined Atlético from Torino two years ago for a sizeable €19m, but failed to live up to expectations and was offloaded the following winter, used a makeweight in the deal to bring Fernando Torres home from Milan.

He didn’t impress at the San Siro either, joining Genoa earlier this year as the Rossoneri opted to cancel his loan with them. His form improved a little at his new club, but was cut short in May as he suffered a knee ligament injury.

After undergoing surgery in Barcelona, he returned to Atleti for pre-season to work on his rehabilitation, training separately as the rojiblancos looked desperately all summer to find someone, anyone, to take him off their hands.

Bologna swooped late on, but were supposedly not convinced by his fitness and in the end opted not to sign him, with club president Claudio Fenucci admitting his return would be “longer than anticipated”.

Reports state that he’ll be out until November or December, and although that basically rules him out of contention even if Cholo did want to play him before he’s inevitably put on the market again in January, the club have still opted to include him in their squads for the season.

With Copa del Rey matches in winter, there could be an outside chance of him featuring in the early rounds to put himself in the shop window and allow other players to rest, but even that seems pretty far-fetched.

Countless offsides, a ridiculous red card on one of his first matches against Valencia and a training hurdle sent sprawling were some of the more ‘memorable’ moments of Cerci’s disastrous first spell in red and white.

He did find the net in a Champions League thrashing of Malmö, but it did little to distract from his questionable attitude and apparent lack of effort which saw his involvement limited before moving to Milan.

It’s true that he was once an exciting player, earning his big money move and a World Cup call up after getting into double figures for goals and assists with Torino in 2013/14.

Judging by how his career has dwindled since then though, a reprieve for the red and whites is probably about as likely as an atmosphere at the Bernabéu this season.

See our full Champions League squad here.

What do you make of the Cerci situation? Could he be the man to lead us to European glory…?

  • nandes

    The good news is that Caio Henrique was also named in the squad. Really promising player who was great in the pre-season. Could see him playing a similiar role to Lucas in the squad last season – UEFA Youth League, some early Copa del Rey matches and called up when needed.

    Not looking forward to the match against Celta as I feel we’ll be playing more cautiously than ever

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Cerci has talent. We have all seen it. Maybe this will be a wake up call. I was really excited when he joined two years ago. We need a guy to start getting the ball in the net. Desperate measures for desperate times. When he is healthy, put him in and see what he can do. Of course, as the article states, that will be in November. If Atletico are as good as I was predicting 3 weeks ago, then we will not need him.

  • Not convinced anymore.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    As I said on twitter few days go : Atleti are partially responsible for ruining this man’s career .
    We signed him at his peak, when a couple of European biggest clubs were interested in him, then we threw him on the bench .
    240 minutes, that’s all what Cerci played with us, you can’t even judge Grizi or Arda after 240 minutes in their debut season with Atleti and in La Liga .
    Cerci has played only 90 minutes in the cup for fuck sake !

    And I can’t talk about his behavior problems, because I haven’t seen anything, it’s just what the press have told us, and they didn’t give us any facts, just general accusations .
    It’s true that he seemed a little lazy at training, I talked about that at the time, even shared a video, but it was a 10 seconds video, we don’t know what was going on at the other 6 million seconds .

    And he can’t be judged with his time at Milan either, they have been a mess for the last 3 years, it’s very easy to fail there, I can’t imagine what would have happened to our boy Torres if we have left him there .

    Of course most of the responsibility is on Cerci, including his wrong choice for Atleti, but still, I think Atleti haven’t been fair to him, and I really don’t appreciate all that sarcasm and satire from our fans on social media about him .
    Cerci, if in any chance you are reading this, I am really sorry on Atleti fans behalf .

    Finally, If there wasn’t anyway to get Torres back other than swapping him with Cerci, then he was a successful signing to me, hell, he is a club legend !
    But if we could have gotten Torres back in another way, then those are 19 million we are never getting back, 19 million that we desperatly need, even half of that amount (as an investment fund has reportedly paid the other half) is still too much for a club like us .

    Another inexplicable signing that doesn’t fit in our style, just like Vietto, that has cost us a lot of money .

  • Hannu

    Maybe there was some problems with behauvior and training and so on but I think he wasnt that bad in those few minutes he got.

    After all Mandzu was kicked off too after his many goals just because he annoyed Simeone. Ok was too slow also but lets just see when we have number 9 that can score as many goals as him.