By 90Min
July 01, 2019

Atletico Madrid are good. Really good. Yet, for all their talent, they have won just one La Liga title in the last 23 years.

It doesn't help that they have to compete against both Barcelona and Real Madrid, but Diego Simeone's side need to find that little extra je ne sais quoi if they are to take that next step towards greatness.

Here are six positions Atletico must strengthen if they are to dominate La Liga.


A New Talisman in Attack

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Baring another twist in the saga (and another documentary), Antoine Griezmann is leaving Atletico. He appears set to earn Los Rojiblancos a cool €120m, which means that they have plenty of choices when it comes to a replacement.

They will need a new superstar - someone who can steer them to glory - and there are plenty of options. With that kind of money, there are only a few players in the world out of their price range, but who to go for?

It looks like Benfica's Joao Felix is the chosen one. Whilst certainly a huge risk, the potential displayed by the 19-year-old is enormous. If everything goes according to plan, Felix could lead the team for the next decade.


The Next Lucas Hernandez

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This summer, Atletico have lost both Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez, leaving just Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez as the club's only senior defenders. Porto's Felipe is set to arrive to replace Godin, but the void left by Lucas' move away is huge.

The Frenchman was supposed to be Atletico's first-choice defender for the foreseeable future, and now they have nobody to take up that role alongside Gimenez. A new, young centre-back is a must.

Mario Hermoso of Espanyol is an ideal candidate. The 24-year-old has plenty of top-flight experience under his belt, and looks set to blossom into one of La Liga's finest. 


More Depth at Left-Back

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With the versatile Lucas no longer at the club and Filipe Luis leaving on a free, Atletico find themselves in need of a few left-backs. They have already secured Athletico Paranaense star Renan Lodi, but he cannot be expected to play every minute of every game.

Whether Lodi becomes a starter or a reserve option, Atletico need another left-back. There are plenty of options here, such as Chelsea's Marcos Alonso and Porto's Alex Telles, but both will likely prove to be too expensive.

As a result, they could move for Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico. The Argentine has plenty of fans across Europe, and would likely be the cheapest out of all the possible options.


A Cure for the Sime Vrsaljko Problem

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Does Sime Vrsaljko have what it takes to make it at Atletico? Who knows. He took a while to get to grips with Simeone's methods and was then sent out on loan to Inter. A serious knee injury followed, and now his future looks as uncertain as ever.


He could miss a large part of Atletico's season which, coupled with the release of Juanfran, leaves Atletico with just Santiago Arias at right-back. More depth is needed.


Barcelona's Nelson Semedo could be available, especially with Barcelona exploring ways to raise transfer funds. He already has plenty of experience in Spain, and would certainly be a boost to the squad. Elseid Hysaj of Napoli is another option, so it's up to Atletico to choose.


A Goalscoring Winger

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Atletico aren't exactly blessed with the most efficient wingers. Koke is more of a central midfielder, whilst Vitolo, Thomas Lemar, and Angel Correa managed nine goals between them last season. With Griezmann leaving, Simeone's side will need more players who can score goals, and they simply don't have that right now.

Finding such a player isn't always easy, given teams are incredibly reluctant to give up their top talents. However, one player who could be available is Suso, with AC Milan needing to sell players to help appease UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.

He has consistently offered a solid number of goals and assists in recent seasons, and still has scope to improve. If Atletico can help him break that double-figures barrier, then everyone's a winner.


More Reliable Strikers

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Behind Griezmann in the Atletico pecking order are Alvaro MorataDiego Costa and Nikola Kalinic. Whilst Simeone is thought to be a big fan of Morata, the same cannot be said about Costa and Kalinic.

There are huge doubts over whether the pair can still perform at the required level, and Morata is hardly the most prolific of strikers anyway.

Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani has been linked with a move to the Wanda Metropolitano, which would be utterly perfect. The Uruguayan scores plenty of goals, and could offer some invaluable experience to the club's youngsters, including Joao Felix.

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