The annual ItC tradition is back!
It is time to unveil the seasonal player ratings for Atlético Madrid’s defenders and goalkeepers as we review the season that was and get set for the season that will be.
Antonio Adán: 4.5
Turned in a disappointing debut season in red and white. The ex-Real Betis portero looked shaky as Atlético were eliminated in the Copa del Rey by relegated Girona, and he made just one start in LaLiga — a 2-2 draw at Levante to end the season. He will be back in 2019/20 to complete his two-year contract, and Diego Simeone will rely on him once more in the Copa.
Jan Oblak: 8.3
Oblak kept a league-best 20 clean sheets as he claimed a fourth straight Zamora Trophy for fewest goals conceded per 90 minutes. Though he does not escape blame for Atlético’s season-defining collapse at Juventus, the Slovene turned in another stellar season and was finally awarded a new contract befitting his status as Europe’s best keeper — in addition to being one of the most decisive players in LaLiga.
Here’s a stat — Atleti were 10th in shots allowed per 90 minutes in 2018/19, yet conceded just 29 goals thanks to Oblak.
Carlos Isaac/Toni Moya/Andrés Solano: N/A
Each academy player got one game in. Left back Solano played a solid 45 minutes against Leganés on March 9, while Moya — a midfielder by trade — played center back a month later in a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo. Carlos Isaac debuted in 2017/18, and this season he played the full 90 in a 3-0 win over Huesca.
Simeone filled in the gaps with B team players this season and it’s possible — though unlikely — that one or two of these lads can make the first team someday.
Francisco Montero: 6.2
This 20-year-old got a decent run this year due to all the injuries. Montero made nine league appearances (four starts), got a further three matches in the cup and two more in the Champions League. Simeone put a little faith in him and he proved serviceable, though somewhat nervous at times.
There’s likely a loan move in the offing for Montero if Cholo does view him as a piece for the future.
Stefan Savić: 6.3
Savić appeared in less than half of Atlético’s league games and was once again bang average. The Montenegrin is pretty strong at clearing the ball but really not much else — it’s tough not to beat him for pace and catch him looking. And he has problems with trainer Profe Ortega.
Though some of his struggles can be attributed to injury, the 28-year-old isn’t any more than a fourth-choice center back.
Juanfran again showed his age again in 2018/19 — particularly when Simeone played him at left back. Despite that, the coach liked what he still had to offer and often selected him over Arias late in the season. The 34-year-old stayed relatively fit to average one key pass per 90 — the most among the team’s defenders — and nabbed a couple assists in the final few weeks.
Despite his dip in form over the past three seasons, Juanfran will be missed as he departs for pastures new.
Filipe Luís: 6.8
As anticipated, Filipe found himself behind Lucas at the start of the season. While he did not get his desired move to Paris, he did wrestle the starting left back spot away from the Frenchman, who basically didn’t play the second half of the season. The Brazilian went on to record 2.4 tackles per 90 (the lowest in his Atlético career), 1.7 clearances (third-lowest) and 0.7 key passes (lowest). The 33-year-old remained smooth on the ball but took a sizable step back defensively in what will almost certainly be his final season in Madrid.
Lucas Hernández: 6.9
Lucas was in the midst of another solid season before Bayern Munich plucked him out from under Simeone’s nose — the World Cup winner became a more efficient tackler and even scored his first goal. But knee surgery ended his season prematurely after the Bavarians announced they had completed a deal for him, and Atlético were glad to take the €80 million that Bayern offered. His final appearance was that strange 3-1 home loss to Real Madrid in February.
Santiago Arias: 6.9
A nice debut season in a Big Five league, which made it a little confounding when Simeone benched him regularly as the campaign drew to a close. Arias made only half a dozen appearances between the second leg at Juve and the season finale at Levante, despite improving defensively throughout the season and maintaining a steady final third presence.
The Colombian was a bargain for €11 million, but Cholo might replace him anyway — Nélson Semedo wants to leave Barcelona amid links to Atlético.
Diego Godín: 7
Godín remained a consistent presence in his final season in Madrid, though the time had come for him to experience a new challenge. He was still fine in 2018/19, but it took him a while to get going, his clearances dipped again and only Filipe was dribbled past on a more consistent basis. The captain’s 30 league appearances were his fewest since his first two seasons as a Rojiblanco — and he was one of the healthier central defenders this year.
That said, there is no doubt the Uruguayan will be missed dearly and he goes down as arguably the best center back in club history. That’s not easy to replace. Mucha suerte, faraón.
José Giménez: 7.6
Now established firmly as Atlético’s defensive rock and leader. Giménez’s season ended in April with a dislocated toe but he had been mostly fit up to that point, when he produced a monstrous 6.3 clearances, 2.2 interceptions and 4.4 accurate long balls every 90 minutes. Only 24, Giménez has rung up over 150 appearances and counting for Los Colchoneros with more to come — he could become a captain as soon as autumn.
Who was Atlético’s best defensive player in 2018/19?
This poll is closed