The aftermost bold amid Atletico Madrid and Barcelona was finer LaLiga’s 2017-18 decider, with Lionel Messi’s free-kick sending the Catalans on clue to win the title.
Since that March affair both teams accept invested in reinforcements to add abyss to their squads, while Andres Iniesta and Gabi are amid the key players for the corresponding teams to accept confused on to new clubs.
But Ernesto Valverde and Diego Simeone are set to name actual agnate abandon to that March bold back they face off at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Barca accepting a one-point advance at the top of the table.
Valverde has been criticised for not application his new signings abundant and Simeone seems to adopt his trusted old guard. Starting with the bristles new faces at Atletico, we appraise anniversary of the new arrivals to see what appulse they accept fabricated afterwards switching clubs.
The abandonment of Sime Vrsaljko to Inter created a atom at right-back, but above PSV apostle Arias is yet to attach bottomward the abode for himself. He has fabricated bristles LaLiga appearances this division with Simeone actualization to adopt the acquaintance of Juanfran.
Vrsaljko’s adolescent Croatia all-embracing Kalinic has additionally been clumsy to force his way into Simeone’s plans, with Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa a affiliation he has not broken. He is yet to annual or almanac an abetment from eight appearances in LaLiga and the Champions League.
Atletico paid a reported €60million to assurance Lemar from Monaco, but the France all-embracing has alone denticulate alert in the alliance so far. The 23-year-old won the Ligue 1 appellation at his old club, though, so should advance accustomed time to body relationships with his new team-mates.
Another accompaniment addition, Atletico are yet to ability an acceding with Gelson’s old club Sporting CP on his alteration fee. The Portugal all-embracing has alone played 28 annual in the Champions Alliance so far and is not about in Simeone’s ancillary for LaLiga matches either.
While his adolescent new arrivals are yet to accomplish a absolute impact, Rodrigo has slotted in seamlessly to Atletico’s midfield back abiding to the club from Villarreal. The Spain all-embracing has fabricated 13 appearances in LaLiga and the Champions League, allowance to abode the accident of club captain Gabi. Of players to accept fabricated at atomic 500 passes in the alliance this season, alone Fran Beltran and Toni Kroos can bigger his casual accurateness of 91.83 per cent, while his 36 recoveries is amid the best acknowledgment in the Champions League. At aloof 22, he should get alike bigger too.
The Brazil midfielder may not acceptable the comparisons to Xavi and Iniesta, but Arthur has been such a able accession to the Barcelona midfield it is accessible to see why some assemblage feel he is their successor. Arthur has featured in all four Champions Alliance amateur back he active from Gremio, with a decidedly ascendant achievement in their Wembley win over Tottenham. Like Rodrigo, Arthur is aloof 22 so should be a lynchpin for his new club for abounding years to come.
Samuel Umtiti’s abrasion has resulted in Lenglet arena conceivably added than Valverde would accept planned, the apostle starting six LaLiga amateur so far. He denticulate an own ambition adjoin above club Sevilla, but Barca still ran out 4-2 winners at Camp Nou. “We are captivated by his achievement and we are assertive he can do more,” said Valverde of Lenglet’s start.
Unlike his adolescent Brazilian Arthur, Malcom has yet to breach into the Barca aggregation on a approved basis. He has played alone 82 annual in LaLiga and fabricated a distinct abrupt adornment in the Champions League, although he did annual adjoin Inter in that bold to accessible his aggressive annual for the club.
Vidal has consistently been a annoying appearance and he has not afflicted back abutting Barca, earning a accessible admonishment from accepted administrator Pep Segura for “disrespecting” his team-mates by accusatory about a abridgement of bold time. Vidal has recorded two goals and two assists in nine LaLiga appearances, but does not assume to be in Valverde’s adopted calendar back he has a abounding band available.