Lucas Hernandez credited Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone for having a steadying influence on his fledgling career after signing a contract renewal t the Vicente Calderon.
The 20-year-old French centre-back has agreed an extended four-year stay in the Spanish capital after enjoying a breakthrough campaign last season, making 16 appearances including starts in each leg of the Champions League quarter-final win over Barcelona.
Hernandez also came on before Atleti lost the final on penalties to bitter rivals Real Madrid and he is ready to make further progress under Simeone’s watchful eye.
“The coach, since I started with him two years ago, always trusted in me,” he told a news conference.
“He gave me the chance to debut and when I was lucky enough to play a few games he trusted in me.
“He told me that if I stayed here, he would have his doors open because I was going to be an important player.
“He also told me to be patient because, in the end, everything works out.”
Hernandez is joined by a clutch of new faces at Atletico, with Simeone’s close-knit squad looking to bounce back from agonising near misses in the quest for major honours at home and abroad last term.
“The new reinforcements that have arrived are very good,” he added. “Nico Gaitan, [Kevin] Gameiro and [Sime] Vrsaljko will give the squad a bonus.
“That will allow us to compete and be at the very top in all the competitions.”