Atletico Madrid’s long, drawn-out search for a new #9 ended Saturday morning, as the club confirmed via its Twitter accounts that Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro has joined as Antoine Griezmann’s new strike partner.
The three-time Europa League winner has signed a four-year contract as both As and Marca reported the 29-year-old comes to Madrid for an initial 32m euros plus 5m in variables.
Sevilla announced Gameiro’s exit in prompt fashion and also confirmed Luciano Vietto’s loan in the process, bringing the total outlay of the deal to 41m euros.
It’s safe to say Diego Simeone did not really foresee this outcome when the club began its search for a new forward in February. It was a search that began with sexy and expensive names. Diego Costa. Edinson Cavani. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Gonzalo Higuain. Gameiro’s name didn’t even register until just a few weeks ago, but now he is the chosen one.
Obviously, Atletico can’t afford to screw this one up, especially with a transfer ban likely on the way. Since Costa’s departure from Chelsea, Atleti have burned through Mario Mandzukic and Jackson Martinez in addition to Vietto. Gameiro ticks more of the boxes Simeone needs ticked; he’s dynamic, pacy and an excellent finisher. Many will contend the club could have done better - perhaps they should have - but Gameiro seems to be a safe, reliable signing with La Liga and European experience, along with a 10+ goal season for three separate teams.
At any rate, the Gameiro-Griezmann duo needs a nickname. Let’s put on our thinking caps in the comments and come up with one.