Diego Simeone has taken heart at Atletico Madrid’s recent contract renewals and is encouraged by new arrivals Toby Alderweireld and Josuha Guilavogui.
Los Colchoneros have welcomed their two late summer recruits to training for the first time this week and their new Coach is optimistic for the early signs.
“I’m happy with the new people. Toby [Alderweireld] is a Belgian international with huge potential,” began Simeone to reporters today.
“They are young people. Josuha [Guilavogui] is young and is a French international. If [Didier] Deschamps has called him up then it invites us to say that he is on his way to becoming a big player. Both can help make the club’s group of players greater.
“Will Guilavogui debut this weekend? For his presence in the French national team we are happy.
“As for us, it is very difficult to compete in our team and he will surely take time to develop. When we see the opportunity, he will play.”
Simeone’s side had also signed Martin Demichelis from Malaga on a free transfer, but saw him then move on after a few weeks to Manchester City, in a €5m deal.
“I’m happy for a player who has come across an important situation. He saw an opportunity to grow and it was valued as important.
“He behaved well with us and was very direct. I wish him well in this new phase.”
Atleti have also been renewing a number of players’ contracts in recent weeks, most recently handing Koke Resurreccion, Oliver Torres, Javier Manquillo and Juanfran Torres new deals.
“There is no doubt that the club has maintained a line that sustains a structure that has allowed us to be competitive.
“They are players that feel a part of the club. It is healthy beyond the technical aspect of who they are. It makes me happy and content. It’s good to have an identity.”
Of this quartet, Simeone named two in considering where the team will look to make up for having been unsuccessful in trying to re-sign Diego Ribas.
“We have continued the development of Koke and the development of Oliver, who we will continue to support with care so as to keep him growing.
“Neither has the experience that Diego does, but they both have an interesting projection.”
The nearest projection for Atleti is Saturday afternoon’s opponents Almeria, which begins Week 4 of La Liga.
“They are an opponent who was promoted through scoring goals. They have an interested midfield and forward-line.
“They have people with experience like Soriano and they have a rigorous defence. They are good in creating chances and scoring goals.
“This game will be difficult because they also defend well. We need to give a lot of intensity to our performance.”