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Top five players Atletico Madrid should target in summer 2023

Published at :June 28, 2023 at 3:51 AM
Modified at :June 29, 2023 at 5:41 AM
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Rajat Chhajta


Diego Simeone's side will be looking to challenge for the LaLiga title once again

Atletico Madrid turned around their 2022–23 season after a rough start that led to some (unwisely) questioning the future of legendary manager Diego Simeone. In the end, led by clear LaLiga Player of the Season frontrunner Antoine Griezmann, Atléti played brilliant football on both ends of the pitch and nearly came in second over rivals Real Madrid.

The goal for next season will be to push for the title and go further in the Champions League. In order to do that, Atlético Madrid could look to sign one of these five transfer targets in the summer 2023 window.

5. Arnau Martínez (right-back) - Girona

With the defensive line, last season mostly comprised of loan players like Reguilon, a better potential signing for Atlético Madrid would be Girona’s Arnau Martnez. He was one of several young players who stood out as surprising talents last season and could have earned a move, and he looks ready to be a star player for one of the "Big 3" in La Liga.

In their first season back in La Liga, Girona finished in the top half of the table, pushing for a European place until the very end. Arnau proved to be one of the league’s best right-backs, and that’s a position where Atléti could use one more option. At just 20 years of age, Arnau scored three goals with four assists for Girona in the 2022–23 season, averaging two fouls drawn per game and over a key pass per match.

4. José Gayà (left-back) – Valencia

Again, discussing the weakest link of the team and the defence, they could get their hands on one of the La Liga regulars. If Atlético Madrid wants to prioritise the left back to the max, they could go after José Gayá, the most consistent player in La Liga over the past few seasons. He was, once again, one of the league’s best in the 2022–23 campaign.

Valencia staying up only makes a Gayà transfer even less likely, as he has always remained loyal to the club he captains. But it wouldn’t hurt Atlético Madrid to try for such an accomplished, well-rounded left back. It might even make sense to bring in someone with a shot of playing in Europe and a possible silverware instead of fighting for relegation, and this time Valencia might not get lucky.

3. Roberto Firmino (centre forward) – Liverpool

Roberto Firmino Atletico Madrid
Roberto Firmino won the Champions League with Liverpool

The Brazilian made very limited 90-minute appearances on the pitch, after which, in January, a move to MLS was probably most likely for Roberto Firmino. However, in his limited action for Liverpool this past season after the major signing of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, the Brazilian centre-forward showed he still has the quality to get the job done.

Firmino could be a nice fit for Atlético Madrid as a backup, coming in and linking up with Antoine Griezmann or the other forwards. If Atléti cannot keep long-time standout Alvaro Morata, Firmino is not a bad option to maintain that all-around presence in the attack who makes others better and can come up with a clutch goal when needed.

Since Atléti wants to get over the Champions League hump, a player with Firmino’s pedigree in that competition isn’t a bad option either. His signing makes sense in order to fuel the bench with an experienced striker who can be used in multiple positions.

2. Konstantinos Mavropanos (centre-back) – Stuttgart

Stuttgart handily won their relegation playoff against Hamburg to stay up in the Bundesliga, and while that would make Konstantinos Mavropanos more difficult to acquire, he is still an achievable transfer target for Atlético Madrid.

When looking at his all-around skill set, aggression, and future upside, Mavropanos might be the best possible centre-back target for Los Rojiblancos in 2023. Mavropanos is adept at joining the attack and a born ball-winner, having been one of the best centre-backs of the 2022–23 season in the German top flight. He could be a great understudy before Stefan Savi and José Mara Giménez, eventually taking over himself.

1. Carlos Soler (central midfielder) – PSG

A former La Liga star, Carlos Soler’s transfer from Valencia to PSG last summer always seemed fishy, and it predictably flopped. Soler isn’t a bad player by any means, but he didn’t really have the quality to play on a PSG squad that included Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Hugo Ekitike in the attacking positions. And really, Soler fits La Liga better, where he has played most of his career.

He isn’t a dynamic midfielder but is versatile and just gets the job done in a variety of ways in the attack. He could be a nice depth piece for Atlético Madrid at the right price if they fail to secure any other major player. Meanwhile, the player will also be willing to come back to the league of his preference instead of staying with a team where he will be used as a second-half substitute.

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