Talented Argentine Vietto arrives at Atletico ready for challenge
Atletico Madrid have enjoyed a successful rise to prominence in Spain during recent seasons under the guidance of defiant Argentine coach Diego Simeone, but previously lost one of their star performers Arda Turan to fierce rivals Barcelona.
However, the 2013/14 La Liga champions wasted no time in rebuilding their side, with Simeone snapping up fellow countryman Luciano Vietto from Villarreal, with the 21-year-old agreeing a deal worth a reported €20m at the Vicente Calderon (16/1 with Coral for 2015/16 La Liga).
— Atleti English (@atletienglish) July 7, 2015
“Atletico de Madrid and Villarreal have reached an agreement for the transfer of Luciano Vietto to our entity,” an Atletico statement said.
“It is expected that the transfer of the Argentinian forward will be formalised this Wednesday, that the striker trains with his new teammates in the first session of the preseason, and to subsequently sign his new contract, which will link him to our club for the next six seasons.”
Vietto was handed his professional debut by Simeone during their time together at Racing Club in 2011 and now, four years later, both Argentines will be reunited in Madrid, with Atleti’s demanding boss hoping his new marksman can continue last season’s form.
The former Villarreal danger enjoyed a superb last campaign, striking an impressive 18 goals across all competitions, having featured 46 times all season, and turned down the temptation of Liverpool in favour of reuniting with Simeone.
Vietto’s Vicente Calderon switch signals a new statement of intent for such a highly-driven club, who have recently successfully tested the dominance of Spain’s two giants, having lifted a historic league title and reached a Champions League final against Real Madrid in 2014.
Atleti were unable to stifle the big guns last term, though, having finished third behind Madrid, with Barca sensationally rallying to a treble triumphing campaign, but Vietto’s arrival only backs up recent intriguing remarks made by Simeone.
“We have to prepare as a team for when Real Madrid and Barcelona are not so attentive,” stated the Argentine coach. “Last year, they were not so focused and we were able to get in the mix but Valencia and Sevilla are also aware of this and that strengthens the league.
“To become champions again we have to work to finish second, third and when they [Real and Barca] get distracted win the title again.”
Next season could again be the campaign when Atletico storm back into the fray for La Liga, with possible distractions surrounding the other big two. Madrid continue their struggle to sort a goalkeeping situation and are in transition following Rafael Benitez’ appointment, while Barca are undergoing presidential elections and have the daunting task of following a treble winning term (10/3 to retain European crown).
The capturing of Turan from bitter city rivals proved a bitter blow by Barca, but could represent a ploy to soften the potential let down after such a successful season. Although, the Turkey international’s move, and recent comments, are sure to have left a sour taste.
“Everyone comes from somewhere and I come from a small place in Turkey to go and play for the best team in the world.” stated Turan upon arrival to the Nou Camp.
“Playing at Barca is a dream, every footballer wants to play at the Camp Nou, the best stadium I’ve been at.
Whether the country’s big two endure a mini decline next season is in doubt but, with the arrival of Vietto and Jackson Martinez in the Atletico ranks, Simeone will have the quality to once again force his side into contention once again (20/1 to win 2015/16 Champions League).