Diego Simeone takes shot at Memphis Depay fitness ahead of Atletico Madrid-Real Mallorca

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has suggested that Memphis Depay‘s fitness is impacted by the possible motivations he has, rather than just his body. The Dutch forward has performed well in fits and bursts this season, but has mixed that in with long absences.

Before Los Colchoneros take on Real Mallorca this weekend, looking to draw closer to Champions League qualification, Simeone said the Euros cresting the horizon would no doubt see Memphis return to training.

“I saw that he was training before the team trained. Not long away, there is the Euros, which will be a motivation for him, so surely next week he will help us, because the footballers also see the Euros coming and will make an effort to reach this competition in the best shape.”

It was also put to him that after 11 years of qualifying for the Champions League, fans at the Metropolitano no longer value finishing in the top four.

“When the season ends, when the accounts are settled in the direction we are heading, no doubt I will be able to really comment on what I feel and think about all this,” Simeone told Relevo.

Once again this season, the defence has also been an issue for Los Rojiblancos, which is now a five-year trend for Simeone’s side. Their former strength is now their biggest weakness, and having conceded 64 goals this year, it is the worst in Simeone’s spell.

“When one talks about defence, it is misunderstood and one thinks that it is the three centre-backs, the four or the back five… The defence is a team. When the group works as a team, the defence is always better. Offensively we have done a lot goals, because the team attacks as a team and we have conceded many goals because possibly we could not work as we should have worked as a team.”

Many people have pointed to the lack of investment in the backline, with no serious money being dedicated to the defence since the signing of Mario Hermoso in 2019. However Simoene clearly believes that the chief is a lack of collective work, rather than simply a lack of qualilty.

Tags Angel Correa Atletico Madrid Diego Simeone Memphis Depay

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