We’re midway through the season and as always rumours are flying around regarding possible transfers. However we shouldn’t forget that we have a few players already under contract who could return to play for us next season.
Easily our best performing loanee plays for Deportivo la Coruña. Rubén Pérez has started all La Liga and cup games for the Galicians and only missed out twice; once through suspension and the other time when he wasn’t allowed to play against Atlético. The blonde midfielder was subbed off by coach Lotina just once and is an important part of the team that currently sits 13th in the league.
Pérez has also become an integral part of the Spanish U21 set up. He featured in all games this campaign and helped the team qualify for the European U21 tournament next summer. Rubén was sent on loan for two seasons as part of Filipe’s transfer, and if he continues like this we would welcome him back with open arms in 2012.
Another Spanish youth international that many Atlético fans hold in high regard is Keko. The versatile winger plays for Cartagena in the Liga Adelante and has featured in twelve games this season. The club from Girona is doing surprisingly well with a 4th position in the league table. Keko, who was on loan at Valladolid in the Primera División last season, isn’t guaranteed a spot in the first team. He started seven times, but completed just one game.
Another club in the Segunda División which we follow with extra interest this season is Numancia, where Ibrahima and Cédric form part of the formation. Ibra is on loan while we sold the young Cédric with an option to buy him back either this season or the next. Both players have scored two goals for los Rojillos this season. Ibrahima Baldé has played ten matches, but is currently injured. Cédric featured in all of Numancia’s 17 games this season, and has apparently attracted interest from Chelsea and Barcelona.
At Recreativo Huelva our Uruguayan centre back Lele Cabrera isn’t playing as much as Atlético would have liked. The defender, who can also play at left-back, started just six games and was an unused substitute in 9 games. It seems he will have to wait for injuries and suspensions before he can play a larger role for the side that are currently 16th in the league.
We are sure we won’t be seeing Jorge Molino in an Atlético kit any more. The versatile forward signed a 2-year contract for Real Murcia last summer, but Atleti included a buy-back option in the deal, which we can only use this season. Molino has played only two games for the Murcians so far in the Segunda División B, the same level as Atlético Madrid B’s, and failed to impress.
We have two Argentines out on loan outside of the Spanish borders. At Benfica Eduardo Salvio is coming into his own as his performances continue to increase for the Eagles. Last week we linked you to highlights of the game against Rio Ave, in which Toto scored two great headers and delivered an assist after a stunning run from the halfway line.
Early in the season Salvio was struggling to find his feet in Lisbon but now he seems to have won a position in the starting line-up. He usually plays on the right side of Benfica’s 4-4-2 Diamond formation. Although he only has nine appearances to this point, we expect he’ll play a larger role in the second half of the season.
Germán Pacheco plays for Independiente in Argentina and recently won the Copa Sudamericana, the South American equivalent of the Europa League. It was only the first time in the club’s rich history that The Red Devils won the tournament. Since joining on loan Pacheco has made 11 appearances (one goal) for Independiente, the club where Sergio Agüero and Diego Forlán were raised. Despite their cup success the club finished last in the Argentina Apertura.
Since joining Sporting de Gijón Miguel de las Cuevas has played in almost all la Liga matches. The offensive midfielder left the Vicente Calderón in the summer of 2009 but Atlético included a buy-back option, which expires this season. In both la Liga campaigns Miguel has missed just one match, but last season certainly was a better year for the playmaker. He has scored only a single goal in 2010/11 and isn’t always starting for the club which currently is second last in la Liga.
Here’s a table with the minutes played, appearances and goals from these players. The table does not include cup appearances.
*Stats courtesy of www.soccerway.com on 26 December 2010. Domestic league statistics only.