clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giménez, Reinildo set to miss Atlético’s opening game; Söyüncü still unregistered and Molina facing race against time

Simeone still doesn’t have a settled squad, but things are looking positive ahead of the new season.

Atletico Madrid v Manchester City - Preseason Friendly Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid’s preseason work is mostly done. They have landed back in Madrid after a tour that took in stops in South Korea, Mexico and the United States, and even landed a new primary shirt sponsor on Thursday. The focus now is on Granada in LaLiga EA Sports on Monday night at 21:30 local time.

Diego Simeone is happy with what he has seen from his new players during the summer but will have to reshuffle his defense due to potential key absences for Granada’s visit to the Cívitas Metropolitano on Monday.

José Giménez and Nahuel Molina remain unavailable for the Colchoneros — although Molina will be back in the team soon following his foot injury — while Reinildo Mandava is still recovering from his ACL injury and Çağlar Söyüncü is still unregistered for the 2023-24 LaLiga opener. Axel Witsel is suspended too, owing to his match day 38 red card against Villarreal from last season.

Atletico Madrid v Manchester City - Preseason Friendly Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

If he’s registered in time, Söyüncü could be in line for his first start alongside César Azpilicueta and Rodrigo Riquelme to his right. The Turkish defender arrived from Leicester City on a free transfer and Atlético are confident that they will be able to register him prior to Monday night’s game.

In a new interview with Marca, Simeone also says he has been very impressed with Ilias Kostis, the 20-year-old defender who played last season with Atlético Madrid B. But on Monday it will likely be a back three of Söyüncü, Savić and Hermoso with Azpilicueta and Carrasco on the wings.

Meanwhile, in attack, Memphis Depay may have done enough to convince Simeone he is worth a start — and he could be in line to take over spot-kick duty. Álvaro Morata’s future at the club has been in doubt all summer and he still might leave. Memphis missed large spells of last season through injury, but he scored four goals in eight games in LaLiga for Atlético.