Diego Simeone refused to draw comparisons between his unproven new Atletico Madrid squad to his previous sides down the years.
To the surprise of many, Atletico are the biggest team to have undergone the most significant transformation in Europe. A total of eight new players have arrived at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Among them is the highly-rated Joao Felix, who joined Atletico from Benfica for a club-record deal of €126m. Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso, Kieran Trippier, Felipe, Renan Lodi, Ivan Saponjic and Hector Herrera are the other recruits.
Simeone’s side, undoubtedly, hope these new signings will help compensate for their losses this summer. In total, 13 players have left them during the current transfer window.
These include Antoine Griezmann, Rodri, Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis and Juanfran.
Following Atletico’s 7-3 thrashing over city rivals Real Madrid last month, however, some have begun pondering the true potential of Simeone’s new line-up. Apparently, it’s possible the new team could go on to become his greatest one.
Speaking ahead to Los Colchoneros’ friendly with franchise club Atletico San Luis in Mexico, though, the Argentine refused to join in on the comparisons.
“It’s not fair to talk about a team that is yet to start competing,” said head coach Simeone, according to Yahoo.
“We think about now, which is to improve in training, in matches, for each player to fulfil his function.
“When the season ends we will be able to say if this is the best squad or not. You don’t win with names. You win with performance and with players who interpret what the team needs.”
Meanwhile, new Mexican signing Herrera is relishing the prospect of La Liga football ahead of his debut campaign for Atletico.
“I never imagined playing in La Liga,” said the midfielder.
“It was always a dream to be able to reach La Liga, which is the best league in the world. You have to look for big challenges and [in La Liga] you are competing with the best.”
Atletico will begin their La Liga campaign on August 18 at home to fellow Madrid side Getafe.