Despite poor performances in the Champions League, Diego Simeone can look back on the 2018/19 season with pride. Atletico Madrid finished the season in second place in the La Liga standings, a whopping eight points clear of arch rivals Real Madrid, and were the only team to get within a million miles of challenging Barcelona for the title.
Atletico Madrid sent a number of their players out on loan last season to aid their development, and here's how the most prominent loanees fared.
Skilful winger Gelson Martins spent the second half of the season on loan with French outfit Monaco. Martins performed well, scoring five goals and contributing a further four assists in 29 appearances. This form, however, was not enough to merit a recall to the Portuguese national team for the UEFA Nations League finals.
“I do not want to return to Atletico Madrid. I am still the same player and I know that my characteristics do not correspond with what the team wanted. And it is not now that things are going to change. Simeone is not going to change his philosophy for me.”
Argentine forward Luciano Vietto spent the season on loan at Premier League side Fulham. The forward struggled to hold down a pace in the starting XI at Craven Cottage and spent most of his season on the bench.
In 22 appearances he scored only one goal and got four assists. His loan spell was disappointing and his performances have led Atletico Madrid to agree to a permanent transfer for Vietto to Sporting CP for €7.5m.
Sime Vrsaljko's loan with Inter was cut short after suffering a knee injury that has led to the defender undergoing surgery. It is believed that his injury will keep him out of action for nine to ten months.
Prior to his injury, Vrsaljiko featured 13 times for the side and performed well. The player has stated that he won't be taking risks in his recovery and wants to be fully fit for when he returns for Atletico Madrid next season.
Goalkeeper Axel Werner spent the first half of the season on loan at La Liga side Huesca. He made eight appearances for the outfit, conceding a staggering 24 goals in the process.
From January onwards Werner was loaned to La Liga two side Malaga but failed to make a single appearance for them.
Owing to his performances this season, it is unlikely that Werner will force his way into Simeone's plans anytime soon.
Goalkeeper Andre Moreira spent the first half of the season at Aston Villa. The youngster failed to make any league appearances for the Championship side, but did feature in the EFL Cup twice where he kept one clean sheet.
From January onwards Moreira joined the Portuguese side Feirense. Here, he spent the majority of his loan spell on the bench only making five appearances and conceding 14 goals in the process.
It is unlikely that we will see Moreira challenging Jan Oblak at Atletico Madrid for the number one jersey anytime soon.