Diego Simeone is not worried about Diego Costa’s arrival giving Atletico Madrid too many options in attack, as he believes “important teams grow because of major players”.
Chelsea and Atletico reached an agreement for the transfer of Costa on Thursday, with the unsettled striker reportedly set to cost €60million, depending on bonuses.
The move will see the Spain international return to the club where he rose to prominence in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 campaigns, scoring 56 goals across the two seasons.
When Atletico are able to register Costa in January, he will add to Simeone’s significant number of forwards, with Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa, Kevin Gameiro and Luciano Vietto all in the squad to face Sevilla on Saturday, with Fernando Torres – missing this weekend – also fighting for a place.
Simeone does not see competition as a problem, however, as he believes it will only help the team grow.
“I don’t see it as something problematic,” Simeone told reporters in his pre-match media conference ahead of Sevilla’s visit. “On the contrary – important teams grow because of major players, and important players know that there is competition in the big teams.
“It is clear the club is growing and needs people who know how to compete while thinking about the club and the team.”
Saturday’s match could well see Kevin Gameiro face his former team again, as Simeone revealed that the France international’s training intensity is improving by the day after suffering from a hernia in pre-season.
“He’s getting better and better,” Simeone said. “Yesterday was the best training he has done since he came back into the group.
“I’m guided by what I see in training. The guys who have the fewest minutes have to show me then that they’re growing.
“And he’s very important because he has speed, power and goals. Hopefully when the team needs him he will respond in the best way.”
Sevilla have not lost any of their first five league games and have conceded just one goal, facts made all the more impressive by a number of underwhelming performances.
And Simeone is particularly aware they have a number of quick players in attack who could pose Atletico real danger.
“On the face of it, Sevilla come with a very good record [this season],” Simeone added. “[Sevilla coach Eduardo] Berizzo is a coach who can adapt himself to injuries and bad news and is always competing very well.
“He is gradually showing what he wants to convey to the team, with collective work in recovery, different players in the middle like [Guido] Pizarro, [Steven] N’Zonzi and [Ever] Banega.
“Plus, they have speed in the guys who they have in attack, like [Joaquin] Correa, [Wissam] Ben Yedder, [Jesus] Navas and Nolito, if he returns. They have a very competitive team.”