The LaLiga club has struggled to maintain the standard of their performances in the following season.
Over the years, Atletico Madrid have shown their might in Europe as well as in Spain. They have taken the fight to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid during Diego Simeone’s reign. They broke the duopoly in 2013-14 season after winning the La Liga title. Since then, the Rojiblancos have reached multiple UEFA Champions League finals but have failed at the final hurdle.
Although their ability to compete with the financially superior teams was applauded. Their smart transfer policy in the recent past has allowed them to keep pace with their rivals.
However, this season they are 15 points behind city rivals and league leaders Real Madrid and 11 points behind second-placed FC Barcelona. Therefore, Diego Simeone will be keen to bring reinforcements in the summer in order to close that gap. So we look at the top five players which Atletico Madrid can sign this summer.
The recent links and rumours of Atletico Madrid monitoring Getafe midfielder Mauro Arambarri prove that Simeone is keeping his options open for the summer. With Thomas Partey unsettled and heavily linked with Arsenal, the Rojiblancos may lose an important member in midfield.
Therefore Simeone has made the Uruguayan midfielder his primary target to replace Partey. Arambarri has played a key role in Jorge Bordalas’ system this season. The 24-year old kept a balanced approach in the offence as well as in defence for Los Azulones, which starts from breaking up play to maintaining a key role in transitions.
Arambarri is a hardworking midfielder who excels on both fronts and his strength and ability to carry the ball up the field during counter-attacks compliments Bordalas’ system at Getafe. His ability to outmuscle oppositions in midfield and tireless work-rate makes him an ideal replacement for someone like Partey.
One of the brightest young talents in Europe over the last couple of seasons, Samuel Chukwueze has been on the radar of several teams. Atletico Madrid are one of them, and reports in Nigeria suggest that Simeone is keen to rope in the Villareal winger this summer.
The wide areas have not been great for the Rojiblancos. Apart from loanee Yannick Carrasco, Simeone lacks a player who can create chances from wide positions. With Chukwueze, he will get a winger who is audacious and does not shy away from taking on defenders
The Nigeria international is still very young and raw but has averaged 3.10 dribbles per 90 minutes this season, keeping the defenders on their toes. Chukwueze can also play on either flank and has blistering pace and can be ideal for Simeone’s pragmatic and counter-attacking style of football.
The veteran Uruguayan will leave PSG after the UEFA Champions League run of games in August and is looking for a new club. Atletico Madrid have been clear about their interest in Cavani but things haven’t materialized yet with clubs like Inter and AS Roma also interested.
The 33-year-old has excelled in all the clubs he has played till now, starting from Palermo, Napoli to PSG. Cavani has scored 200 goals in 301 appearances for Les Parisiens, making him their record goalscorer.
With Diego Costa coming to an end of his current contract and failing to score goals, the onus has been on Alvaro Morata to find the back of the net. Cavani can be the quick fix and can take that burden off his shoulders. At 33, he is highly experienced and can also help a youngster like Joao Felix to find his feet at the club.
It may look like a short term deal but the Uruguayan is a proven goalscorer and will provide Simeone with another season to look for a younger alternative.
The Polish forward who currently plies his trade at Napoli may head out of San Paolo this summer with clubs like Juventus and Atletico Madrid showing interest in him. Milik, who joined Napoli in 2016, has been a prolific goalscorer for Partenopei.
With one year left in his contract, the Poland international is looking for a new challenge and Atleti can be a great destination for the 26-year old. Juventus are also in the race but Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis does not share a great relationship with the Bianconeri and would prefer Milik joining the Spanish giants instead.
The player has not featured much for Napoli this season but still has notched up 13 goals in all competitions. His best time in Italy came last season when he scored 20 goals.
Milik is ideal for Simeone’s side, mainly due to his ability to hold up play. He is no slouch with his movement, positioning and his aerial prowess, which makes him a threat in set-piece situations. If Atleti can snap up the 26-year-old for anything around €40m, it will be a steal in this current market.
James has failed to find answers at the Santiago Bernebeu and with his attitude, it seems his career with Los Merengues will come to an end this summer. The 29-year-old can be a great signing for Diego Simeone, adding a lot of creativity in the midfield. Atleti are far apart from their rivals in terms of goals scored in LaLiga. Only Getafe has scored less than Simeone’s men among the top six La Liga sides this season.
Therefore James can add that panache in the attack which may allow the Rojiblancos to put up a lethal title challenge next season. The former Monaco man proved his worth at FC Bayern Munich during his two-year loan spell and there is no reason why he cannot replicate that form under Simeone. James needs a change of air and joining city rivals can be ideal for both parties.