• Simeone. "Lemar has not been able to respond to expectations"

Just a year ago, Atlético was in a tangle almost identical to the one he lives now. Diego Costa had been operated on the left foot in December and had to track the market to find a remedy against the headache of the goal. Today, Costa's second operation (cervical disc herniation) has rojiblanco club offices focused on the same task.

A year ago, the agreement with Álvaro Morata was total and there was a lack of negotiation with Chelsea. However, until the twilight of January, the winter window was almost closed, the offices did not find the formula to execute the operation and save the happy salary limit. Jonny Otto , signed last summer and transferred to Wolverhampton, was sold for 20 million to the British club and Morata arrived in the form of assignment. Today something similar happens in the interest of Edinson Cavani , the most reliable candidate to satisfy Simeone's wishes, which in June ends the contract with the PSG. Atlético's scoring miseries, with its worst record since Simeone arrived, do not admit waiting.

If in 2019 the solution was Jonny, in 2020 there is no better remedy than opening the door to Thomas Lemar. «Every time he was available he played much more than he did not play because his characteristics excited me. However, then he could not meet those expectations, ”admitted Diego Simeone, in his first press conference of the year. "We behave as we believe with an important player who could not develop all the football he owns."

Lemar was until the arrival of Joao Felix (126 million), a year later, the most expensive signing in the history of Atletico: 70 million were paid to Monaco for 80% of his pass. He landed under the shelter of his friend Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernández , his other compatriot, and today he travels alone in the locker room. His brilliant notes in the 2018 preseason, even at the start of that course, are today almost anecdotal. The obligations of the demanding Simeone libretto have led him to play with more fear of error than with the creative freedom he wore in Monaco. His rojiblanco numbers explain the limbo he is in: three goals and six assists in 64 games.

The Premier, possible departure

It has been a while since the grandstand of the Metropolitan Wanda lost patience with him and has already made it known this season on more than one occasion. Until now, Simeone's faith seemed unwavering. Even if the injuries had respected Vitolo or Correa had raised their bar, perhaps Lemar would have had less prominence.

The fact is that if in summer the key to undertake a signing (James, first; Rodrigo, later) was the sale of Angel Correa, in winter no other is guessed that does not pass through the exit of the tiny French end. The Premier , and London specifically (Arsenal and Tottenham), stand as the strongest destination for an introvert player who had managed to settle comfortably in Madrid. Of course, his record, close to five million euros, would not compensate the more than 10 that Cavani (about to turn 33), the name that seduces Simeone most, perceived in the PSG.

This afternoon (18.30 hours), neither of them will be on the Metropolitan lawn in front of the Levant. In the case of Lemar, for a muscle injury suffered in training. In the Uruguayan, obviously, because the operation is still cooking. The destiny of both is connected, although the normal thing is that the solution is not revealed until the closing of the market.

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  • Atlético de Madrid
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