Kevin Gameiro (2016; 30 million euros spent)
After moving to Spain, Gameiro has never been very productive forward. In Sevilla, he played with varying success, but still became a three-time winner of the Europa League. Atletico at that time needed a partner for Griezmann. So the Frenchman went to Madrid to his compatriot. In July 2016, the “mattress” signed Gameiro for 30 million euros, and the footballer himself received a contract for 4 years.
The first season in the capital of Spain turned out to be good for Gameiro. The forward played 31 games in La Liga and scored 12 goals, which was normal for him. But in the 2017/18 campaign, the Frenchman’s affairs began to deteriorate. He began to spend less time on the field and scored little. In the second half of the season, Diego Costa returned to Atlético, to whom Gameiro began to lose the competition.
Kevin became superfluous in Madrid, so mattress makers rushed to sell him. They saw in Milan a replacement for the Frenchman. It was Nikola Kalinich, who could not work with the then Rossoneri mentor Gennaro Gattuso. So, in July 2018, Atletico sold Gameiro to Valencia for 16 million euros, having lost 14 million on his transfer. With the proceeds, the Spaniards signed Kalinich, but this deal can hardly be called successful either. A year later, the “mattress makers” rented the Croat to “Roma”. Kalinic returned to Madrid, and it is not clear what to do with him now.
Diego Costa (2018; 66 million euros spent)
Costa has a complicated history relationship with Atlético. For the first time in the location of the Madrid club, a striker was in 2007. Then he switched to “mattress makers” from “Braga” for 1.5 million euros. Almost immediately after that, the club began to send the Spaniard on leases. Costa essentially did not play for Atlético until 2010. Then, after spending a mediocre season, he went to Rayo Vallecano, and a season later returned to Madrid, where he played quite well.
In the 2013/14 season, Costa scored 27 goals, becoming the team’s top scorer. But the “mattress makers” decided to exchange the Brazilian for Griezmann and sold him to Chelsea for 38 million euros. In England, Diego was pretty good, having scored 20 goals in two seasons of the Premier League. However, Antonio Conte no longer needed him. In the 2017/18 season, Gameiro already started having problems at Atlético, and the mattress mates returned Costa, paying 66 million euros for him.
The Spaniard’s last return to Madrid at the moment cannot be called successful. Diego scored only 10 goals in La Liga in 2.5 seasons. A disastrous result considering the money spent on the forward. Atlético overpaid 28 million euros for Costa’s transfer and, in fact, received nothing in return. In the summer, the “mattress makers” considered options with the sale of a football player, given his expiring contract, but did not receive specific proposals. In winter, they will have one last chance to help out something for the 31-year-old Spaniard.
Tom Lemar (2018; 70 million euros spent)
In July 2018 ” Atlético ”got one of the most promising wingers, Lemar, into its ranks. Mattress has signed the 22-year-old, who has already played 127 matches for AS Monaco, 22 goals and 33 assists. In addition, Lemar at that time was already a player in the French national team. Many clubs claimed the winger. But also many of them were afraid to pay 70 million euros for a football player. Atlético was not afraid, which it regrets to this day.
Things initially did not go very well for Lemar. In the first season, after switching to mattress, the winger scored 3 goals in the 31st match of La Liga and provided the same number of assists. This is not exactly what was expected of a Frenchman in Madrid. But there were hopes that Lemar would still “shoot”. However, last season, the footballer did not make a single effective action, having played 29 matches in all tournaments.
In the course of last season, it was reported that Atlético wanted to sell Lemar. Over time, the coach of “mattress” Diego Simeone confirmed that the player could leave the club. The player himself also began to consider options for moving from Madrid. There are enough people who want to “revive” the Frenchman’s career. The media names quite worthy clubs: Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton. However, for Atlético it will be a success if someone pays at least half of the amount they spent on the player.
João Felish (2019; € 126 million spent)
In July 2019, Griezmann left Atlético. “Mattress” with a scandal sold the football player to Barcelona for 120 million euros. Accordingly, Diego Semeone’s team needed a new striker. Atletico have made a controversial choice in favor of Benfica striker João Felis. The Mattress Makers spent everything they got for Griezmann on the 19-year-old Portuguese, and paid 6 million more. Of course, after such a loud transfer, the whole world began to follow the mattress mats.
Before moving to Atlético, Felish spent only 1 full season in the first team of Benfica. The young striker showed himself well, scoring 20 goals and giving 11 assists in 43 matches. At that time, he even managed to make his debut for the Portuguese national team. But in Madrid he is not doing much yet. Last season, the forward played 36 matches in all tournaments, chalked up 9 goals and 3 assists. Not the highest rates.
Felish will certainly remain Atletico’s main player in the 2020/21 campaign. The weak performances last season can be attributed to adaptation and injury, which has left him missing 13 games in total. But one thing is already clear: “mattress makers” seriously overpaid for the Portuguese. Simeone in every possible way protects the young striker, but so far he cannot make him a serious threat to his rivals. If Felish plays the next season at the same level, the “mattress” players will have to think about the future fate of the player in their organization, although he has a contract for another 6 years.
Alvaro Morata (2020; 63 million euros spent)
Forwards are a headache for Atlético. Therefore, in January 2019, the mattress covers were rented from Chelsea by Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard was not doing very well in the London club. The parties thought they were right for each other. In the second half of the season, the footballer played 15 matches for Atlético in La Liga, scoring 6 goals. “Mattress” was satisfied with this. In the summer of 2020, they issued a full-fledged Morata transfer. Taking into account the money spent on rent, the Spaniard cost the Madrid club 63 million euros.
Morata became the top scorer of Atlético in the last season. At the same time, the forward scored only 12 goals in La Liga. Perhaps this is not bad for the footballer himself. Morata has never scored more than 15 national goals in a season. But for “mattress makers” this is a failure. A seasoned striker who has played for Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea must score more goals. With the strikers so low in La Liga (23 goals for three), it’s a miracle that Atlético made it to the Champions League at the end of the season. Messi alone has scored more than all Mattress strikers.
With four forwards available, including Kalinic, Atletico is looking for a striker again. Edinson Cavani could have become a serious reinforcement for the “mattress”, but they never came to an agreement with the Uruguayan. There are not many options left. Chances are good that Atlético will play in the 2020/21 season with the forwards they have now. In this case, the Madrid club will face another very difficult season.