If you have been following Atletico Madrid's summer window so far, it is a no-brainer that Atletico Madrid are a club in transition.
With over €300m on sales and 200m on signings, Diego Simeone has the biggest task on his hands since signing for Los Rojiblancos.
After the disappointing defeat to Juventus in the round of 16 last season which saw them blow a 2-0 lead heading into the second leg, it looked like Simeone had lost his charm. Little did he look like the man who guided Atletico to two finals in three years. To make matters worse, key and experienced players like Diego Godin, Felipe Luis, Juanfran, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri and star player Antoinne Griezmann headed for the exit door. And the club's response to a flurry of key departures has been a deluge of big signings – all with a significant profit of over €100 million raked in.
Joao Felix is the fourth most expensive transfer
The arrivals have been exciting so far - Marcos Llorente (€40m) has swapped Madrid jerseys. Ivan Saponjic is a 20-year-old striker with not much first-team experience but he has impressed at youth level with Serbia, helping them win the Under-20 World Cup in 2015. Defender Renan Lodl, a 21-year-old Copa Sudamericana champion, also arrives from Athletico Paranaense while 24-year-old centre-back Mario Hermoso is a €29m arrival from Espanyol. Then there was the surprise transfer of English right-back Keiran Trippier for €20m, who has his fair of critics but can be one of the best when on his day.
The collective arrivals of Saponjic, Lodl, Hermoso, and Llorente cost just €87m but no signing has grabbed more headlines than Joao Felix. The 19-year-old Portuguese sensation is the fourth most expensive transfer ever with a price tag of €126m.
Felix was linked to several top clubs two months ago but the problem he was presented with when deciding where to move next was his specific position, as a second striker. And there was only one top European club that employs the 4-4-2 - Atletico Madrid. With both the player and club benefiting from the transfer, it'll be interesting to see how he pairs up with Diego Costa or Alvaro Morata upfront.
Historically, Atletico Madrid never falls short of forwards. From Fernando Torres to Aguero to Falcao to Griezmann and now Felix, Atletico buys young forwards and develop them to highly profitable transfers.
Change of philosophy
Simeone is known to play a defensive and counter-attacking style. It may have guided the club to a league title, Europa League titles and two Champions League finals, but if recent results are anything to go by, Atletico need a change of philosophy or try something different.
After the disappointing defeat in Turin, Simeone will have to get the most out of his new signings, most notably Joao Felix. A team that is used to a straight and narrow game, Felix may not have the work rate and physicality of his predecessors. A change in the system is a must if Simeone is to win his first UCL title.
The Atletico we will see this coming season will be different from the one we have all been used to. Simeone must make sure there is a progression in that difference.
What about the rivals?
Eden Hazard is the biggest signing for Real Madrid this season
Atletico have always been second-fiddle to neighbours Real Madrid, in terms of results and signings. But after spending over €300m in the last two summers, times have changed. With Real Madrid also going through a period of transition and finishing below Atletico in the league last season, times have changed.
Antoine Griezmann made the move from Atletico to Barcelona
The top-three clubs in Spain have already made some big money moves and will be looking to bolster their squad till the deadlines. Eden Hazard and Jovic were the big signings for the men in white while former Atletico forward Griezmann has joined the Catalans along with the highly-talented Frenkie De Jong. With these recent signings and more to come, we are in for a treat in La Liga.
Atletico Madrid are a team in transition and 2019/20 will see them enter a new cycle.