Atlético expected Elias to be available for today’s match against Espanyol, but his transfer paperwork has still not been officially approved.
The registration window for winter transfers opened on Monday, but AS reports that La Liga has not received official permission from the Brazilian midfielder’s former team Corinthians yet.
On the player’s end, he submitted all the required documentation on Monday and the official word from the league was that “it was only a matter of time” before he would be allowed to play.
Manager Quique Sánchez Flores was apparently ready to offer Elias a starting job, as the 25-year-old was training with most of our starters right from the beginning. Sánchez Flores tested him out primarily on the right wing, and though the intention was never for Elias to directly replace Simão Sabrosa on the flank, the Atleti boss has been left with no other choice.
Quique has reportedly kept a close eye on the Brazilian international during the team’s training sessions, and has stopped practices on several occasions to offer him clarification and instruction.
The Rojiblanco coach has been in survivalist mode of late, and has had to make do with the few provisions made available to him. The number of Atlético B players called up this week has little to do with a change of heart by Quique toward using youth squad members this season, and everything to do with his very limited options.
We at AtléticoFans won’t hide our desire of this working out for the best for us, and that the reserve side’s star players – the Kokes, Pereas, Borjas, Pulidos – end up salvaging our season.
UPDATE: Elias eligible to play
La Liga has confirmed to AS that Elias’ transfer has been processed, rendering him eligible to play on Monday at Hércules.
The Brazilian midfielder is reportedly not at 100 per cent fitness, but given that Quique Sanchez Flores’ is pressed for options on the wing, he may decide to include the 25-year-old in the next match selection anyway.