Atlético Madrid have plans set for potential Filipe Luís exit
Atlético Madrid and manager Diego Simeone were unable to begin the 2018-19 LaLiga campaign with a victory, forced to split the points at Valencia this past Monday. Los Rojiblancos will feel confident ahead of this weekend’s home fixture versus Rayo Vallecano, but one of their defenders could be set to depart in the near future.
Filipe Luís has been rumoured to be nearing an exit, with the likely destination believed to be Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain. The 33-year-old has been an integral part of Atlético’s recent successes, and has established himself as one of the squad’s true leaders.
Following the game against Valencia, Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak hinted that Luís may have made his final appearance for the club. Describing the moment as “a little sad”, there is a sense that Oblak and other team-mates know that an end is on the horizon for the left-back.
Simeone will feel comfortable with Lucas Hernández as a starter in his line-up at the position. The 22-year-old featured for Atlético in their UEFA Super Cup triumph over rival Real Madrid, and has been a left-back for the French national team as well. But Hernández’s natural position is centre-back, and Simeone will want to add depth before the transfer deadline if Luís does sign with PSG.
Reports have linked Los Colchoneros with Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso, which would certainly be a positive addition. However, Atlético may find intense competition from their neighbours with Real Madrid also said to be interested. Alonso is a product of Real’s famed youth system, making a brief stint with the senior team before moving to Bolton in 2010.
One of Atlético’s greatest strengths is their defence, and Luís has made significant contributions over the years. His work with the likes of captain Diego Godín and José Giménez has been outstanding, and much of that is due to the familiarity and communication that only comes from time spent together on the pitch. That is a difficult aspect to replace, but Hernández has the capability and the determination to make up for the loss.
Hernández was a consistent and reliable performer for France this summer in Russia, as he helped Les Bleus lift their second FIFA World Cup title. Possessing excellent pace and sharp defensive instincts at a young age, his overall game will continue to develop and improve.
Atlético Madrid have been picked by many as a contender to de-throne Barcelona in LaLiga this season. While Filipe Luís could be departing soon, Lucas Hernández will be ready to fill the void he leaves behind.