The additions of Diego Costa and Vitolo can only help Atletico Madrid to grow, according to head coach Diego Simeon.
The new signings, who have officially completed their moves to Atleti after the club’s transfer ban expired, both made their debuts in Wednesday’s 4-0 Copa Del Rey win at Lleida Esportiu.
Costa netted within five minutes of his introduction as a second-half substitute, although the striker may require further medical examinations having injured his right knee in the process of scoring.
And Simeone is expecting a big impact from Costa, the striker having fired Atleti to their last LaLiga title in the 2013-2014 season before departing to join Premier League side Chelsea.
“With the arrival of Vitolo and Costa we are looking to grow,” Simeone told a post-match news conference.
“We are looking to continue improving and hopefully we will achieve it with the players we had, adding two top players, and hopefully the two will settle as quickly as possible.
“The team reacted very well to the first 20 minutes of Lleida, we had a good first half, we had the chance to generate chances against a team that competed very well, and in the second half, the entry of Costa and [Antoine] Griezmann gave us greater offensive power.
“Costa’s arrival generates enthusiasm, Vitolo’s entrance as well, although little by little it will be necessary to adapt the team, this is the way.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) January 3, 2018
Although Costa’s presence could restrict his opportunities, Fernando Torres struck his third Copa del Rey goal of the season, while Diego Godin and Griezmann were also on target in a comfortable first-leg victory.
“Costa’s introduction gave us what we need from him: speed, strength and physicality, but in the first half, Torres and [Kevin] Gameiro responded very well at the start of Lleida, and on the second goal they did very well,” Simeone said.
“It was a combination between [Yannick] Carrasco, Gameiro and Torres, which we are excited about, and I’m happy with the team’s feelings
“We have lots of competition in the squad. Some players will go from the stands to the pitch. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.”
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