Atletico Madrid have made just two signings this summer, but many fans may feel that one of them certainly addresses the biggest need of the team.
Belgian central midfielder Axel Witsel joined earlier this summer from Borussia Dortmund and brings with him a wealth of experience. At 33, he certainly shouldn’t need too much tutoring from manager Diego Simeone.
Speaking at his official presentation this afternoon, Witsel made a strong stab at endearing himself to his teammates.
“I’ve been at a lot of clubs, in a lot of countries and being here, having trained with them, I think this is the group with the most quality in my entire career. There are a lot of internationals, I am very proud to be part of this group.”
Diario AS carried his answers, where he spoke of the warmth with which he had been welcomed. Witsel also then confirmed that Simeone would be asking him to play in the holding role.
“I feel good. My role will be as with the national team, a defensive pivot, a five, holding the balance of the team and cutting off the counter-attacks of opponents. I have a similar role with Belgium.”
Last season plenty felt that Atletico looked lightweight at times in the centre of the park. Although Koke Resurreccion and Rodrigo de Paul are talented footballers, neither are renowned for making life uncomfortable for opposing attackers. As he alluded to, Witsel may help to find an equilibrium.