Atleti, Barca and Real Madrid have all sold star names but replaced them well…
Despite losing key players from their title-winning squad from last season, Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone have shown their ambition moving forward this summer and will be as determined as ever to obtain success in the upcoming campaign.
The reigning Spanish champions have ultimately been forced to continue the tradition of parting company with their star players, with Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois all moving to Chelsea.
In addition, other notable departures include David Villa, Adrian and Diego who all played key roles in last season’s success story, and as a result it is obvious that the club would have found life difficult in the defence of their crown.
However, optimism hasn’t been completed eroded this summer in large part due to the fact that Simeone has invested wisely thus far is replacing those key individuals, and there is an argument to suggest that Atleti could in fact be stronger than last year.
While only time will provide us with the answer to that question, it is clear that Jan Oblak and Guilherme Siqueira will be strong replacements for Courtois and Luis respectively, and while transfer speculation continues to link the club with a whole host of names from across Europe, it is their other pair of signings that has particularly caught the eye.
Mario Mandzukic will be tasked with replacing the goals of Costa, but it is the acquisition of French international Antoine Griezmann from Real Sociedad which is the most impressive, particularly considering that the 23-year-old still has so much more room for development.
Griezmann scored 16 goals in 31 appearances last season, and his arrival will not only add quality on the pitch, but it is undoubtedly a statement of intent off it that Atleti remain ambitious despite their financial limitations in comparison to the two giants of Spanish football.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have unsurprisingly caught the attention of the rest of Europe with their transfer business this summer, with Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos all joining the star casts ahead of the new season.
However, it is important to remember that both sides have also sold talented players in the form of Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Alvaro Morata and potentially Angel Di Maria, and particularly in the case of Barca, with new Coach Luis Enrique at the helm, it could well be a season of transition for the Catalan outfit.
The situation could yet change at the Vicente Calderon depending on what further moves are made between now and the start of the new La Liga season, but with Simeone continuing to lead the charge, it is expected that Atleti will remain competitive and look to build on last season’s success.
Whether or not they can repeat their heroics and deal with the challenge from across town and Barcelona remains to be seen, but it is certain that the club are moving in the right direction and continue to find a way of re-building and are now arguably becoming stronger for it.