Rumours have been flying around this transfer window that Atletico are looking to off load Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan. The 32-year-old appears to be out of favour following a disappointing 2010/11 season, a campaign blighted by injury and poor form. But selling him would be a mistake.
His poor form last year came as a surprise, as many expected Forlan to push on from the 2010 World Cup where he was a standout player. He scored 5 goals and won the Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament as Uruguay finished fourth. The pressure of expectation and some niggling injuries hampered his performances throughout the season.
Forlan is a player that has a wealth of experience and is a proven goal scorer. Yes, he was poor last season, managing just 10 goals, but if you think back to the three years prior, you’ll remember some magnificent performances and plenty of goals.
Before last season, Forlan had hit 86 goals in 153 games across all competitions. Compare that with Sergio Aguero over the same period (68 from 151), and you will see how valuable he is.
With a good pre-season, Forlan should be able to rediscover his top form and win back over some of the disgruntled supporters who weren’t impressed with his attitude last season.
Ensuring Forlan hits top gear is essential considering it is likely his lethal strike partner, Aguero, is set to leave. Not only will Aguero leave a big hole in the starting lineup, his departure will reduce the number of strikers in the squad to dangerous lows.
While Jose Antonio Reyes is a capable front man, he is more effective on the wings. This means that partnering Forlan up front would be Diego Costa or Borja. Borja is still only 18 and not experienced enough to be relied upon for regular goals while Diego Costa is extremely unsettled and is yet to report for pre-season training.
Forlan has publicly announced that he wants to stay, and that it is the club that is trying to move him on.
“There are rumours that the club are looking to ship me out, but I’m relaxed. I have two years left on my contract and I aim to fulfil that,” the Uruguayan said.
Galatasaray in Turkey have expressed their interest, with Forlan rumoured to be mulling over whether to accept the Turks’ deal or not. Atletico have made it clear they won’t stand in the way of the striker if he does choose to leave, as the Turkish club is willing to match the club’s €8 million valuation. Premier League side Tottenham are another club rumoured to be interested in securing his services.
Forlan’s positives far outweigh his negatives and selling him now with Aguero’s departure on the cards would be a huge mistake. A proven player of his quality is something Atletico need as they try to force their way back up the table.