Gelson Martins: N/A
Another very weird case for an Atlético Madrid wide midfielder. Gelson started just one match and played half of the minutes that Francisco Montero did. The Portugal international was loaned out in January and did very well at Monaco. Still a good player, and one fans should look forward to seeing next year, should he stick around — but it looks like Monaco will sign him on a permanent deal, and the ex-Sporting attacker had some choice words for his former manager.
Victor Mollejo: N/A
Mollejo did not play much this year, but showed his talent in the substitute appearances he did get. Definitely a candidate for a developmental loan next season to the lower part of LaLiga or LaLiga 2.
Ángel Correa: 4.5
The Ángel Correa experience this season was absolutely terrible in almost every way. He scored fewer league goals this season than he did in his 2015/16 debut season, despite starting more than double (!!!) the matches. Furthermore, he continued to show his mental weakness by giving away that penalty at Juventus and getting sent off in his last match of the season. He should be sold, but more than likely will not be.
A truly bizarre Vitolo season. He started a third of the matches Álvaro Morata did — and Morata joined in January. A constant substitute, Vitolo could not get any rhythm going, and Diego Simeone did not fully trust his prized recruit from Sevilla. Surely, Vitolo will leave this summer and bring to a close what has been a disastrous Atlético career.
Thomas Lemar: 6.5
Let’s not beat around the bush: it was a really tough debut season in Madrid for Atlético’s record signing. Much like Saúl, however, it was not entirely his fault.
Some of Lemar’s early-season explosive performances may have altered perception of him as an attacking dynamo. In reality, Lemar is an extremely talented creator who was tasked with also doing a ton of defensive work. It was because of his willingness to press and track back that he earned Simeone’s trust — which is good for his playing time, but it also really held Lemar back in an attacking sense. For a player so young, he should by no means be written off, but there need to be clear signs of development in 2019/20.
Thomas Partey: 7.5
A bit of a weird season all things considered for Thomas, who lost a good amount of his minutes to Rodri but was solid when he did play. That seems to be the case with Thomas: a player who will never be a star, but extremely useful player nonetheless who can do a variety of things well.
The Ghanaian equaled his goal total from last season and added more assists to this year. If Rodri is going to depart, Thomas will be the main beneficiary, but if Rodri does not leave it seems possible that the 25-year-old could go himself, as his release clause is an affordable €50 million.
All things considered, a disappointing season for Saúl, though like Lemar it was not totally his fault. Due to numerous injuries and poor squad-building, Saúl was often forced out of position, either to the wing or to a full back role. Though he played nearly all of Atlético’s league matches, he was not the influential force as in years past. Next year will be a very interesting one — perhaps even a crucial one — for the very talented Spaniard.
This was Koke’s strongest campaign since the famous 2013/14 title season, when he racked up a boatload of assists.
Though on paper his stats look similar to 2017/18, he was far more involved in Atleti’s buildup than at any point in his career — including the title team. This was due to two factors. First, he was used in a hybrid midfield role in between the center and wing, which really played to his strengths. Second, Koke had a partner in Rodri or Thomas that was able to effectively cover up some of his defensive flaws. For the man who will assume the captain’s armband next season, the born and bred colchonero will need to be even more involved and take on more responsibility, which based on this season just gone looks promising.
From the beginning, Rodri seemed like the perfect replacement for the departing Gabi — and in his first season, he certainly filled those shoes admirably. He led all central midfielders in successful tackles (100), almost doubling Thomas’ total of 51. What was perhaps most impressive about Rodri’s season was his pass completion rate — 91.1 percent in La Liga. The only concern about Rodri now is that he will be poached this summer — otherwise, he seems set to have another dominating season in red and white next year.
Who was Atlético’s best midfielder in 2018/19?
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