Five years looking for a '9'

Since Diego Costa left in 2014, Cholo Simeone has signed six strikers but none finished working, not even Costa himself.

If something has always boasted Atlético de Madrid has been '9'. Atlético, a team that when Fernando Torres went to Liverpool in 2007, signed Forlán to partner with Kun Agüero and when they left they joined Falcao. In the last year of the Colombian as rojiblanco was when Costa exploded, which in 2013-14 shared goals with David Villa, in the only season of the Spaniard in the club. That summer, like Costa al Chelsea, he went 51 goals between the two who had added (36 that of Lagarto, 15 the former Spanish international). Five years later, Simeone is still looking for a '9'. None have taken root. Not even Costa himself.

The lack of goal is one of the repeated evils season after season in the rojiblanco team. A sharp decline in the last three campaigns, 13 in 2017-18, 9 in 2018-19 and 7 in this, 2019-20, a fact conditioned by the lack of the player who in the previous five years was responsible for make the goals, even if it was not a pure striker, Griezmann. 133, the fifth scorer in the history of the club, four goals from Gárate. But the previous year something could already be felt: that Griezmann was very alone, that no one accompanied him on the goal. Not even that forward that Simeone did not stop asking for the previous four years, Diego Costa. The striker who left with a scoring average of 0.70 goals per game has made 0.24 in the last two years. A return that cost Atlético 65 million (10 for the transfer first and then a payment of 55, the following summer).

Mario Mandzukic was Cholo's first bet. The rojiblanco club signed him at Bayern Munich for 22 million. It started well, but from Christmas, with the return of Fernando Torres to Atletico (48 goals he made, almost the only 9 with Gameiro at times that worked for him), he went off until faded. 20 goals he made, the last one in February. He left that summer. Simeone looked for the goals in Portugal, in the pichichi the previous two years of that league, Jackson Martinez. He arrived in August and February towards the suitcase to China. Three goals only made for Cholo.

From Gameiro to Morata

The following season the signing was Gameiro. A Gameiro that came from Seville with 29 in the suitcase of the last season. 28 did at Atlético ... but spread over two seasons. 17 one and 11 another. The third summer he went to Valencia. Simeone already had that striker back that while Mandzukic, Torres, Jackson and Gameiro passed wanted: Costa. It only needed to arrive on January 1, 2018 for the FIFA sanction to go and be able to register it. 13 goals he has made since then until now. Poor baggage for a player who is fundamental, that when it is The Beast makes a difference, it seems that he was born to play at Atlético del Cholo. Last winter, the club, before his injury and his periods in the goal valley, increasingly accentuated, went to the Premier and was brought to Morata. Six goals scored until the end of the season. This one only has one. The phrase of the Cholo in summer was: "I want a striker to make me the goals of Griezmann". It did not come. And those goals, at the moment, nobody marks them. The Cholo keeps looking.

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