Since his arrival to Atletico Madrid in 2017, Vitolo has had little stability in his club career. A combination of failed loan moves and reduced importance in the squad have seen him limited to the bench for most of his time.
The Spaniard first went on a six-month loan spell to Las Palmas in 2017 before returning in the winter of the same year. He then spent over three years under Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, but had a largely underwhelming tenure.
Year after year, his importance in Los Rojiblancos‘ setup dwindled. During their title-winning season last year, he only recorded three league starts.
Eventually, Vitolo took a pay cut and signed for Getafe on loan in 2021. The year-long spell did not work out for him, and he saw little action over the past season.
With his loan set to come to an end in June, the player is looking for his next destination. The chance that Getafe utilise their purchase option is bleak at the moment, and a solution must be found in the transfer market.
According to reports from David G Medina of MARCA, Las Palmas may swoop at the nth hour to sign Vitolo in June.
The player is out of contract next month for his deal with Simeone’s side was only until 2022. Now, he will be available to sign on a free transfer.
In the recently concluded league season, Vitolo made only seven appearances and had just one start under Quique Flores. In his 200 minutes of action, he did not score any goal or provide an assist. Moreover, he averaged only 0.1 shot per game and created no big chances.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.