It has been a huge summer of change in the red and white half of Madrid and it’ll be fascinating to see how Atleti go this season. Read on for our Atletico Madrid season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 2nd
Atleti finished above Real Madrid for the second season running but in many respects it could still be viewed as their weakest campaign in the Simeone era. Atleti never really threatened to push Barcelona for the title and exited Europe in the last sixteen with an uncharacteristically tame performance in Turin against Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo killed their dream of a home Final at the Wanda and the season petered out to some extent with fresh speculation over the future of Antoine Griezmann and Atleti’s refusal to offer the likes of Diego Godin more than a one year deal drawing plenty of attention away from the pitch.
Atlético Madrid Transfers ahead of 2019/20
João Félix – €126m from Benfica
Marcos Llorente – €30m from Real Madrid
Mario Hermoso – €25m from Espanyol
Kieran Trippier – €22m from Tottenham
Felipe – €20m from Porto
Renan Lodi – €20m from Athletico Paranaense
Ivan Saponjic – €500k from Benfica
Héctor Herrera – FREE from Porto
Antoine Griezmann – €120m to Barcelona
Lucas Hernández – €80m to Bayern Munich
Rodri – €70m to Manchester City
Gelson Martins – €30m to Monaco
Luciano Vietto – €7.5m to Sporting Lisbon
Bernard Mensah – €3.6m to Kayserispor
Diego Godin – FREE to Inter
Filipe Luis – RELEASED
Juanfran – RELEASED
(Transfers up to 19th July 2019)
Coach – Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone is no longer immune to criticism at Atletico Madrid and his failure to get the best out of the vast majority of Atleti’s attacking signings over recent years is becoming an increasing concern. His ability to remould this team and bed in the new signings will be integral to determining how Atleti go this season. Cholo’s biggest dilemma may be whether to try to forge this side in the spirit of legends like Godin and Gabi, or move in a totally fresh direction with a more expansive style of play to better utilise the considerable quality he has at his disposal.
Possible Atlético Madrid Team Next Season
It will be a new-look Atletico Madrid that takes to the field this season with their starting XI likely to feature at least five new signings. The back four has a totally fresh look following the departures of long-serving trio Filipe Luis, Diego Godin and Juanfran. There will be a huge onus on José Giménez to step up and become the leader of this defence in the mould of compatriot Godin who will be turning out for Inter this term. Atleti’s success under Simeone has always largely been a product of their solid defence and how they go this term will largely depend on the ability of the new signings to mould into a formidable back four again.
Rodri and Antoine Griezmann are the other major departures for Atleti. Marcos Llorente has crossed Madrid and will most likely fill the hole left by the former. He’s a different kind of player but is arguably a better fit for Atleti’s style of play than his ball-playing predecessor and he should bring real energy in the middle of the park. Diego Simeone will also be hoping for much more from Thomas Lemar this time around after a disappointing first season in Spain.
Up front, a pairing of new boy João Félix and Alvaro Morata looks likely with Diego Costa being linked with a move away from the club. Morata made a promising start to his Atleti career and he will have an exciting young strike partner this season.
Key tabs on our La Liga match predictions page for previews ahead of every match once the season gets going.
Key Man – Jan Oblak
More than ever, Atleti will be reliant on Jan Oblak this term. They’ve lost some players of the very highest quality this summer but crucially they have managed to hold onto the Slovenian who is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world. With a new-look defence in front of him, Oblak will have an even bigger role to play.
One to Watch – João Félix
Coming soon to #LaLigaSantander… ?
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) July 11, 2019
At the age of 19, it would be unfair for Atleti to pin all their hopes on João Félix immediately hitting the ground running and filling the void left by Griezmann. However as the third most expensive player of all time, clearly there is an expectation that he is more than just one for the future and it’ll be fascinating to see how he adapts to life in La Liga.
Atlético Madrid 2019-2020 Targets
It’s tough to know what to expect from Atleti this term after a summer of such radical change. With over €250 million spent, clearly they are still operating on a far larger budget than 17 of the other 19 teams in La Liga so 3rd place is still the minimum they should be aiming for. The days when Diego Simeone could simply brush his side off as a team punching well above their weight by mixing it with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona are gone.
3rd place and a run to the last eight or beyond in the Champions League would have to be viewed as a decent season given the players they’ve lost.
Atlético Madrid season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter