Written by Patrick Echatah
Rodrigo Riquelme is committed to seizing his opportunity to play for Atletico Madrid’s first squad next season.
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The 22-year-old, who rose to prominence through the Los Rojiblancos junior systems before making his La Liga debut in September 2019, is still highly regarded in the Spanish city.
He tried to force himself into Diego Simeone’s regular squad, but was unsuccessful. As a result, he chose loan moves to Bournemouth and Mirandes before returning to Spain last summer.
Riquelme’s current contract at the Stadium Metropolitano runs until 2028, despite the club consenting to a loan move to Girona at the beginning of the current campaign.
The Madrid native believes he is prepared for a role upon returning to Madrid in June after scoring four league goals in 17 top-flight starts in Catalonia in 2022–23. Simeone may be willing to give him a role.
“The conversation I had with Simeone (before I left for Girona) was very positive. He gave his version, and I trust him, I let myself be guided by his opinion”, as per quotes from Mundo Deportivo.
“Maybe I wasn’t 100% mature enough to be at the club, and now, with the good step of coming to Girona, I think the decision was the right one.
The demand for the Brazilian could affect Atletico Madrid’s ability to sign Liverpool star Roberto Firmino this summer.
If Joao Felix leaves before the 2023–24 season, Los Rojiblancos have been linked with a potential free transfer swoop for the seasoned attacker.
Diego Simeone is willing to allow Felix to sign a permanent contract with Chelsea at the conclusion of the current season after the Blues were pleased with his Stamford Bridge debut.
Simeone will be looking for a replacement if Felix leaves the Spanish city, and Firmino offers an experienced choice.
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