With a complicated non-transfer-related summer on the horizon, Atlético Madrid need to ensure they keep not only the big names at the club, but also the 'squad' players, key to ensuring the team's strength in depth.
Convincing Giménez, Thomas and Correa
Giménez, Thomas and Correa all feel that their lack of playing time has become a hindrance to their progress. Simeone has built his squad around being able to call upon a solid second string of players, but, as with Emre, Alderweireld, Óliver and Raúl García, this approach doesn't always work. Now the challenge for Atleti is to convince all three of their importance to the club. The first sees his chances of securing a starting berth as limited, and the Premier League could come knocking. The second had a stop-start season last year and is reportedly looking for regular first-team football. Thomas's versatility, meanwhile, is likely to attract potential suitors, particularly given that he is only 24.
At the moment all three players know that the club doesn't want to compromise, and the next few weeks could be crucial to deciding their future. One of El Cholo's biggest achievements has been to maintain a strong squad with everyone motivated, but this time around he could have his work cut out.