Simeone has recently stated he's staying at Atleti for another season. We all know Cholo - he'll stick with his good ol' 4-4-2, therefore following that angle seems wise.
Assuming the Argentine stays, it's highly probable Griezmann will stay too, but the other place up front is still up for grabs. Gameiro is a good player and hasn't been a huge disappointment - 16 goals is not that bad a return after all. But lack of physical and aerial presence has been painful to watch sometimes and hurt us on multiple occasions this season. I think we might be after a typical 9 type of striker come the summer break (if the transfer ban is lifted, of course). It's worth noting that Simeone doesn't mess around when he doesn't fully fancy a player - Mandzukic and Jimenez were moved after a single season, while Baptistao and Jackson only lasted six months each. Therefore I wouldn't rule out signing another striker this summer.
All the A-strikers (Lewandowski, Cavani, Higuain, etc.) are obviously out of our reach by a mile. There are a couple of players we could poach, but signing them would command huge transfer fees - I'm talking Belotti, Icardi or Costa. Cheaper options include Batshuayi, Andre Silva or - a wildcard type of signing - Anthony Modeste. As for Lacazette or Sandro - signing them would only make sense if Griezmann left, as all three are similarly built players with similar characteristics and combining two small forwards up front hasn't really worked for us as showcased this season.
Then there's the midfield. I think neither Koke, Thomas nor Saul have enough qualities to play holding midfield; Gabi will be 35 next year, Tiago would hit 37 but his contract runs out in two months anyway. Augusto is the only other defensive midfielder we have, but there's no guarantees he'll recapture his form and he himself will be 32 in 2018. Kranevitter doesn't convice me at all, and that seems to be the case with Simeone as well. He was lately linked with a move to Borussia Moenchengladbach too. A Schneiderlin or William Carvalho type of player would be a welcome addition and I really think we have to sign one such player. Since we're in midfield, I was highly impressed by Kevin Kampl's display against us over two legs of Champions League last 16 phase. He'd offer something different in our clunky midfield - penetration through the middle, lots of dribbling, but a lot of tackling and ball keeping skills as well. We were linked with him one day, but that might've only been some so-called media facts (hopefully not). I'd welcome Villarreal's Manu Trigueros with open arms as well.
The defence generally takes care of itself and assuming no-one leaves this summer, I'd say we're pretty well equipped here. We might want to poach a reserve left-back though, since Lucas doesn't offer anything in attacking sense and isn't left-back material anyway for me, plus Theo looks to be on his way out of the club.
As for outgoings - as there must be some - Cerci is obviously the first that springs to mind. We should sell Siqueira, Manquillo, Mensah and Vietto as well - till they're still worth a dime or two. Besides, I'd seriously think about loaning Correa - his progress seems to have stalled as of late and a fresh start could be exactly what he needs.
To sum it up, I think we're one top top striker and a central midfielder away from competing for silverware again. Choices have to be made wisely this time around as 2018 might bring an exodus of players following Simeone and Griezmann out the door, and this coming season might be the last in a while in which we have a chance to grab them Ol' Big Ears.
Edited by exempt, 13 May 2017 - 12:14 AM.