Diego Simeone has underlined the importance of Diego Costa’s return to first-team action for Atletico Madrid this season.
The striker had been banned from Spanish top flight action since his red card against Barcelona back in April, which saw him receive a lengthy suspension from the league’s authorities.
The striker subsequently received a fine from Atleti while he also refused to train on one occasion, as his future at the club came under great scrutiny.
He made his first appearance since that dismissal in Sunday’s 3-2 win at home to Eibar, and whilst he did not score he played the full 90 minutes as Atleti came from two goals down to win in dramatic circumstances.
“I have always spoken about the impact that Diego Costa has - I have always said it and I have always felt it,” Simeone told reporters.
“He is a very important player for the team and for this club - I hope that this season he can show the show the group just how competitive he is and how strong he is as a striker.
“He has enjoyed a great pre-season and he has started his season with a lot of ambition.”
Simeone has always been a fierce defender of the former Chelsea striker, who looks set to play an important role for the club this campaign.