SkySports.com has posted an interesting article
comparing Atletico Madrid’s former star striker, Fernando Torres, with their new signing Diego Forlan. Torres, after much fan uproar, was allowed to leave for Liverpool for a fee of £26,500,000. At first, it seemed like a blow to the side that had finished 6th and would be competing in the UEFA Cup this season. However, the money from the sale of Torres has allowed the club to rebuild, and in many regards deepen, their squad. They have already signed Simao from Benfica, Luis Garcia from Liverpool, Jose Antonio Reyes from Arsenal, Christian Abbiati from Milan, Raul Garcia from Osasuna and Diego Forlan from Villarreal.
The new faces should complement returning players such as Mista and former Porto FC teammates Maniche and Costinha who were both part of that famous UEFA Cup & Champions League winning side. Captain Maxi Rodriguez should be fully healthy for the start of the season after recovering from the anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered last season while playing for Argentina in an international match against Spain.
Besides Torres, Atletico has also sold winger Martin Petrov to Manchester City and holding midfielder Gabriel “Gabi” Fernandez to Real Zaragoza. Simao and Garcia are more than adequate replacements for Petrov (I would even argue improvements). I’d be remiss not to mention Argentine forward Sergio Aguero, who is coming off a stellar U-20 World Cup performance which saw him lead his country to the title while winning both the Golden Boot for the tournament with his 6 goals, and the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. Aguero could have a breakout season and begin to repay Atletico’s reported £18 million (23m Euros) investment. With this group of players, I’d expect Atletico will play a fast, attacking style and should be one of the more exciting sides to watch in La Liga. I’m optimistic that if they stay healthy they will crack into the top four this season. They could also make a splash in the UEFA Cup if they can keep everyone healthy.
The Sky Sports article compares the two strikers performances from last season on a statistical basis, though with all of the changes to Atletico’s lineup it will be hard to compare the two strikers directly once the new season begins.