While Atlético Madrid are - understandably - not best friends with Sevilla at the moment, Chris Lail of Monchi’s Men was kind enough to talk with ITC about Vitolo’s departure for A Stadium Called Wanda via Estadio Gran Canaria.
Jeremy Beren: Sevilla signed Vitolo from Las Palmas in 2013, and he has since blossomed into a Spain international. What are his strengths and weaknesses and how do you suppose he’ll fit in at Atlético?
Chris Lail: Vitolo started out of the gates well at Sevilla, scoring 8 goals and 8 assists in his first season. He's a great dribbler, can play both flanks (slightly better on the left side, in my opinion) and can take it inside if the play is there. He does well 1v1 and likes to play in space. He can be a little selfish at times on the dribble and forget to pull his head up to make the pass. Good finisher, not great. He's probably not taking any corners or free kicks for AM anytime.
JB: How do you think this transfer affects the relationship between Atleti and Sevilla?
CL: I can't imagine the relationship between AM and Sevilla is anywhere as good as it was last year. There seems to have been some shady stuff happening after an agreement was reached with the club. I don't know if that was the player's doing or AM's front office. I can't imagine any deals getting done in the near future between the two clubs and it has definitely made the AM - Sevilla game must-see TV.
JB: Any idea where Sevilla go from here?
CL: Sevilla will be fine. We used some of the big splash of cash on a La Liga return of Nolito. He will move right into Vitolo's position. Jesús Navas is still an option, but it seems that the agent for Navas is trying to maximize his contract even though both teams are looking forward to his return. Sevilla's in a good position. If we can hold onto Steven N'Zonzi, I feel we can challenge for third in the league again. We still have a few positions left to fill, but we have the cash and time to do it.
As for Vitolo, I think he will soon find himself in the company of Sergio Ramos as the most hated former Sevilla players. I expect to hear lots of whistles coming his way upon his return to the RSP.