LaLiga: Gimenez, Savic and Thomas: The old guard gain weight for Simeone
LaLiga Summer signings have tough competition
Atletico Madrid endured a massive face-lift this summer, most of which was forced upon them, and the core of their ‘Cholismo’ was taken from them.
Players who had been instrumental in that title-winning season moved on, and completely new faces came in.
But the core leaving didn’t mean that the mentality was lost. Players who took more of a backseat in the past have stepped forward this season.
Namely Jose Maria Gimenez and Stefan Savic. Diego Simeone has his new bosses at the back, and that’s key to his system continuing to work.
Mario Hermoso and Felipe Monteiro arrived at the heart of the backline, but neither will be forcing their way into the starting XI anytime soon as things currently look. In fact, the only time Atletico have leaked goals came in Savic‘s absence against Eibar.
But new players taking time to start isn’t a novelty under the Argentine, and only three have forced their way into the plans immediately.
One of those, obviously, is Joao Felix. His 126 million euro price tag has made him untouchable, and his extraordinary performances have made him impossible to leave out.
Kieran Trippier and Renan Lodi are the others to find themselves starting, and both are impressing particularly with their attacking contributions from full-back.
Centre backs aren’t the only players who find it hard to get into El Cholo’s plans. Hector Herrera is finding out just how tough it can be in midfield too.
But the explanation, again, is rather simple. Koke and Saul Niguez are performing at a level that makes them hard to omit, and Thomas has the coach’s complete trust as well.