Monday, January 22, 2018

Costa and Griezmann the plan for Atletico – Simeone

SoccerNews in La Liga 5 Jan 2018

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Diego Simeone is planning to partner Diego Costa in attack alongside Antoine Griezmann, but the Atletico Madrid head coach will try different solutions to strike a balance in the team.

Costa made a goalscoring return on his second Atleti debut against Lleida Esportiu in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, after his move from Chelsea was finally ratified following the expiration of the club’s transfer ban.

The prospect of Costa alongside France star Griezmann has whetted fans’ appetites, but the arrival of Vitolo to join the likes of Kevin Gameiro, Yannick Carrasco, Angel Correa and Fernando Torres means Simeone now has a wealth of attacking options.

And he discussed the welcome selection dilemma at a news conference previewing Atleti’s home LaLiga clash against Getafe on Saturday.

“Well, it depends on the match, but it’s true that we always thought about the Griezmann-Costa pairing for our attack and we hope they can do great together,” Simeone said. 

“The competitiveness inside the team is really strong, Gameiro is great, Fernando Torres keeps improving, Correa is also an alternative, Carrasco is improving game after game and Vitolo is really enthusiastic about playing here.

“We will have to manage all that offensive power and pick the best choices for the team.”

On what Costa brings to Atleti, Simeone said: “We have known Costa for a long time, we know his style on the pitch and it’s true that he always plays on the edge.

“You can see his courage and passion in every play he does, that’s obvious, and of course he can improve even more.

“He’s in a great moment of his career and I wish he can keep improving alongside his team-mates and make the whole team grow.”

Atleti resume LaLiga duties nine points adrift of unbeaten leaders Barcelona after 17 matches.

Simeone insists his focus is not on gunning down the leaders, but merely improving with each match and giving his new arrivals the chance to shine.

“Costa is great, he’s training great, Vitolo is also in good shape, he will adapt to our playing style soon enough,” he said. “Diego, he already knows it from his past here, I agree with you that we are really enthusiastic with all of this.

“Football is fuelled by emotions, it’s been hard to not sign anyone that makes us dream again until now because we’ve been banned from two transfer market windows.

“But we did great and now we have new hopes with new great players that come here to improve.

“I don’t want to think about Barcelona I’m just focused in the present day going game after game, that’s our way to do it.”

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