Jonathan “Jonny” Castro Otto → One-year loan, Wolves (EPL)
Jonny is probably the most significant loan on Atlético Madrid’s books this year. The 24-year-old was brought in one day from Celta Vigo and shipped out the next to Wolves, a newly promoted side in the Premier League.
This will be a very interesting story to follow this season given how Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo, sets up his squad. Last year, he ran a 3-4-3 with three center backs across the back. If things stay the same, or similar, Jonny will essentially be playing as right midfielder and will have opportunities to charge forward into the final third.
If this becomes the case Jonny may end up scoring a few goals for Wolves, but the important thing to watch will be how he tracks back defensively. We’ve seen Diego Simeone allow his fullbacks to charge forward as long as they defend effectively, so it will be interesting to see how Jonny balances his offensive and defensive responsibilities in a brawny, more physical league.
The last thing to look at here is how quickly he settles into his new surroundings. Jonny was born in Vigo and progressed through their academy. This is his first move outside of that club, so we will be looking at how he acclimates to Wolverhampton, a new dressing room, new tactics and a possible new role. It will be very telling as to how he performs when his loan runs out and he returns to the red & whites.
Average match rating prediction: 7.4
Assists prediction: 5
Axel Werner → One-year loan, SD Huesca (LaLiga)
For those of you who’ve played FIFA seasons, you know Axel Werner because his game-rated upside is normally in the high-80s, occasionally the low-90s. The 22-year-old goalkeeper is taking his talents north to Huesca and will compete to be their first choice keeper.
Following a tepid season in Argentina with strong side Boca Juniors, Werner came back and found himself stuck as Atletico’s third option behind Jan Oblak and Miguel Ángel Moyá. He was handed his Europa League and domestic league debuts last season and kept two clean sheets in three games. But as Atleti chose to acquire a veteran goalkeeper in Antonio Adán, Werner will play with LaLiga’s new boys (coached by another one-time Atleti goalkeeper, Leo Franco).
Werner will certainly be in the mix for the starting job. If he plays at least 20 matches — in the cup or in the normal season — we will get a look at how good this guy really is.
Average match rating prediction: 6.7
Clean sheets kept (If 20+ matches played): 4
Luciano Vietto → One-year loan, Fulham FC (Premier League)
Another rojiblanco looking at a season in the rough and tumble of the Premier League, Luciano Vietto accepted a deadline day loan to Fulham FC, who has an option to buy. After signing for Atleti in 2015, he’s struggled to find steady playing time, and newly-promoted Fulham may be the 24-year-old’s last chance to become a star in Europe.
He’s still a talented player, mind. Vietto’s pace alongside that of Ryan Sessegnon could be very tricky for many defenses in England this year. Look for Vietto to compete early, but maintain the starting role if Aleksandar Mitrović falls off.
Average match rating prediction: 6.7
Goals scored prediction: 9
André Moreira → One-year loan, Aston Villa (Championship)
Another 22 year-old goalkeeper, Moreira is in competition for the starting job with Norwegian keeper Ørjan Nyland. The two have split the first two matches for Villa so far in the season and both have kept clean sheets.
Should Moreira capture the starting job on a permanent basis, Aston Villa — who are already pegged to be promoted to the Premier League — look to have a stout keeper in tow. While Moreira had an unsuccessful loan spell last year with Portuguese side Belenenses (he did not feature), it will be interesting to see how he acclimates to playing once, twice, even potentially three times a week.
Following loan spells all over Portugal and a total of 30 caps for different sides, Moreira kept 14 clean sheets, leading to believe the 6’6’’ shot-stopper has the quality of a first-team keeper. Only time will tell if that record will translate in the Championship.
Average match rating prediction: 6.6
Clean sheets kept (If 20+ matches played): 12