At the start of the season, Atletico Madrid were in as good a position as they have ever been to retain their La Liga title. Following victory, Los Colchoneros had added Matheus Cunha and Antoine Griezmann to their attack, but one of the big reasons that many were optimistic was the signing of Rodrigo de Paul.
The Argentine arrived from Udinese, coming off the back of an excellent Copa America performance as the Albiceleste. Under compatriot Diego Simeone, many assumed his fight and long-range passing would thrive at Atleti.
Just as it has been a hard season for Atleti, de Paul has also struggled and isn’t a guaranteed starter for Los Rojiblancos. Ahead of the Madrid derby, de Paul was still very complementary of his coached, expressing total confidence in him to Mundo Deportivo.
“Mentally he has helped me a lot and I think I can keep learning.”
More generally on the season he has had in Madrid, de Paul avoided giving a definitive answer, but did admit that next season was already in his mind.
“The evaluation I always try to do at the end of the season, no doubt there are things we can do better, you should never settle. We would have liked to take a title, but we understand that sometimes we are competing with great teams and we are preparing so that the next season can be even better for everyone and for me too.”
Atletico will be hoping that he can begin showing what he did for Argentina on a more regular basis next season, with Simeone often dropping him for poor positioning and defensive errors.