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Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever

Sunday01 November 2020 | 18:30
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Who are the most expensive Atletico Madrid signings ever? Follow us below as we unravel some of the most expensive signings in Atletico Madrid history.

Perhaps one of the most underrated clubs in the world is based in the city of Madrid. This particular club had been, for most part of its history, under the shadow of its neighbors. You might already know which club we are talking about.

Atletico Madrid

are the third most decorated club in Spain as they have won 10 La Liga titles and 10 Copas del Rey, with various other trophies as well.

Even being the third most decorated club in Spain was not enough to help Atleti out of Real Madrid’s shadow, until recent times that is of course, as Diego Simeone’s arrival alongside with some of

Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever

have turned the tides in their favor. Many might be curious to know who these players are, which is why we have prepared a list of Atletico Madrid’s all-Time most expensive signings. Read on to find out who these signings are.

Most expensive Atletico Madrid signings ever

Here is the full list of

Atletico Madrid’s all-Time most expensive signings

. The players will be analyzed based on their price, market value and overall performance later on.

  • Mario Hermoso - €25m

  • Nico Gaitan - €25m

  • Yannick Carrasco - €27m

  • Marcos Llorente - €30m

  • Kevin Gameiro - €32m

  • Alvaro Morata - €35

  • Vitolo - €35.5m

  • Jackson Martinez - €37m

  • Falcao - €40m

  • Antoine Griezmann - €54m

  • Diego Costa - €60m

  • Thomas Lemar - €72m

  • Joao Felix - €127m

Whom do you believe has turned out to be a success at the club?

Mario Hermoso

  • Price: €25m

When you live in a city where two of the country’s biggest teams compete in a fierce rivalry, you are bound to see some players switch between the two sides quite often. That is what happened to

Mario Hermoso

. Before completing one of the

most expensive Atletico Madrid transfers of all time

, Hermoso used to be a Real Madrid academy graduate, who was slowly climbing up the ranks at Castilla.

Although he technically made an appearance for the senior team in the 2012 ‘Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu’, he never managed to make any official appearances for the senior squad. That is why the young center-back opted to join Espanyol in 2017 instead of spending the rest of his career at Castilla, waiting to be called up to the first team.

Joining

Espanyol

was a turning point in Hermoso’s career as he began to shine at the club with impressive performances, which caught the eyes of Real’s rivals Atleti. The now 25-year-old defender joined his current club in 2019 for €25 million and became one of the most expensive signings in Atletico Madrid history.

It is true that Atleti have paid quite a hefty sum to bring in the Spaniard. But he is only used as a backup center-back and as a set of fresh lungs when the main starting XI needs a rest. His success at the club depends on how he performs from here on and being on the list of

Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever

does not have anything to do with becoming a success.

Nicolas Gaitan

  • Price: €25m

Nicolas Gaitan should probably be on the list of unluckiest players in the world as his constant injuries held him from becoming an integral part of any team. Except for his time at

Benfica

of course, where he managed to make more than 250 appearances, scoring more than 40 goals and providing 88 assists, which was phenomenal for a young attacking midfielder.

Gaitan’s impressive performances at the Portuguese side meant that bigger teams would come knocking to acquire his services, which is what happened back in 2016 when Atletico offered €25 million for the Argentinian midfielder. Gaitan completed one of the most expensive

Atletico Madrid

transfers of all time and moved to Spain to enter a new chapter of his life.

This new chapter was not as sweet though, as the then 26-year-old could not manage to settle in at his new club due to his constant injuries, which made him watch most of the games from the sidelines. It was of course difficult for the board, the manager and the fans to see one of Atletico Madrid’s all-Time most expensive signings sit on the sidelines, which is why they decided to sell Gaitan to the Chinese side Dalian Professional for €5 million.

Yannick Carrasco

  • Price: €27m

Yannick Carrasco actually used to don the shirt of ‘Los Rojiblancos’ before becoming one of

Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever

, which makes it all the more curious as to why did Atletico sell one of their integral players? Perhaps he was sold to prepare the funds necessary for new signings in the 2017/18 season. The Belgium international was sold to Dalian Professional for €27 million, almost double the amount Atletico had initially paid for the player.

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It seems, however, that the club have come to their senses since they signed Carrasco back on loan in the January transfer window of 2020 and later made him one of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever by signing him back from the Chinese club for €27 million. The 27-year-old has made a total of 146 appearances for the Spanish side, scoring 25 goals and providing a further 21 assists, which is quite acceptable for a solid two-footed midfielder.

Marcos Llorente

  • Price: €30m

Another example of players switching sides in the city of Madrid.

Marcos Llorente

is a product of Real Madrid’s youth team, and was actually starting to slowly gain prominence at Los Blancos’ senior squad, turning into an up and coming defensive midfielder. He was even believed to be a worthy successor for Casemiro’s position, which is why it shocked many of the fans when he was sold to city rivals Atletico for €30 million. His new move had made him one of the

most expensive signings in Atletico Madrid history

as he had arrived with a lot of promise.

The Spaniard comes from a footballing family, as both his father Francisco Llorente and his great uncle paco Gento used to be Real Madrid players, both playing on the wings. But having the genes is only half the story and one cannot rely only on the fact that they come from a footballing family, which is why Llorente chooses his role models carefully as he has actually adopted Cristiano Ronaldo’s training and diet regiment, aiming to keep his form for more than a decade.

Since completing one of

Atletico Madrid most expensive transfers ever

, Marcos Llorente has made 44 appearances for his current club, scoring 8 goals and providing 6 assists. Of course you might think that given the praises the 25-year-old midfielder has got over the years, his stats should have been better, but it is worth mentioning that some of these goals were quite vital, specially his brace against

Liverpool

at Anfield which ended the Reds’ European reign quite early.

Kevin Gameiro

  • Price: €32m

The French veteran has played for quite a number of clubs during his career, most of which are some of Europe’s best teams. Kevin Gameiro began his journey in his own country with the French side RC Strasbourg Alsace and slowly began to rise up the ranks by gradually impressing everyone and moving to better clubs. He even found himself playing for

Paris Saint-Germain

for two seasons back in 2011, when the Parisians were slowly becoming a formidable club in Europe.

It was, however, his remarkable performance at

Sevilla

that persuaded the Atletico board to bring him to the club and make him one of the

most expensive Atletico Madrid signings ever

. Gameiro joined Diego Simeone’s side in 2016 for €32 million and went on to make a total of 82 appearances over the course of two seasons.

The French center-forward managed to score 27 goals and provide 11 assists in those appearances, which was deemed inadequate for a club competing for both La Liga and the Champions League. That is why Gameiro was sold to Valencia in 2018 for reportedly €16 million, exactly half the initial price they had paid to acquire his services.

Alvaro Morata

  • Price: €35m

Alvaro Morata has had an on again off again relationship with a number of clubs during his career, including Real Madrid,

Chelsea

, Juventus and of course Atletico Madrid. As yet another one of the club switching players in the city of Madrid, Alvaro Morata was once believed to be the heir to Karim Benzema’s throne. His transfer record is quite complicated since a couple of clubs have actually sold and later bought back the player.

As a Castilla graduate, Morata was introduced into the senior squad in 2013, but was sold to Juventus after failing to settle in at the senior side. What is interesting is the fact that Los Blancos opted to bring him back to club, only to sell him to Chelsea a year later. Long story short, after spending a season on loan at Atletico, Morata finally put his signature on paper and completed one of the most expensive Atletico Madrid transfers of all time by joining the Spanish side from Chelsea for €35 million.

With the arrival of Joao Felix and Luis Suarez, however, the Spaniard’s career at Atletico Madrid faced an imminent threat, which is why he chose to join his former club

Juventus

on loan in hopes of going back to his prime days in Italy, where he first impressed the world with his performances.

Vitolo

  • Price: €35.5m

Víctor Machín Pérez, known as Vitolo is the fresh set of lungs that Diego Simeone uses and actually needs in his squad, since the intense focus on defensive play leaves some tired legs out on the pitch. Vitolo became one of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever after the club paid around €35 million to

Sevilla

and put his price on the list of

Atletico Madrid highest transfer fee paid ever

.

While a number of injuries have kept him on the sidelines for some games, the Spanish winger has managed to make a total of 91 appearances for his club, many of which were made from the bench. He has rarely played the full 90 minutes as Atletico’s system and usual 4-4-2 tactics do not require a natural winger, but rather a versatile midfielder.

Jackson Martinez

  • Price: €37m

Los Rojiblancos should be thankful that Chinese teams exist, otherwise they would not have been able to escape financial loss or even profit off of their flops. It is also interesting how many of the most expensive signings in a club’s history turn out to be flops. Jackson Martinez completed one of Atletico Madrid most expensive transfers ever by joining the Spanish side from

Porto

back in 2015.

The club had to pay €37 million to acquire Martinez’s services, which is one of the Atletico Madrid highest transfer fees paid ever. But being on such lists does not necessarily guarantee one’s success at a club, which is what happened to Jackson Martinez as he only made 22 appearances for Atletico before joining Guangzhou Evergrande for €42 million, a market value which has now dropped to below €1 million.

Radamel Falcao

  • Price: €40m

Radamel Falcao might have been able to impress the world with his performances at

Porto

, but it was at Atletico Madrid that he truly began to shine as he proved to be one of the world’s most prolific goal scorers. The Colombian striker played three games less than 90, but he managed to score an outstanding 72 goals in the process, while adding 17 assists to his tally as well.

This remarkable performance did not go unnoticed, which is why his market value became the Atletico Madrid highest transfer fee paid ever at that time. Being on top of the list of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever was not enough for Falcao, though, as he eyed to become a lethal finisher in La Liga and Europe with Atletico, which is exactly what he did by scoring more than 70 goals in 90 games, becoming the

Europa League

top scorer in his first season with Atletico Madrid.

It was quite surprising to see Falcao complete one of Atletico Madrid most expensive transfers ever, only to move to another club two seasons later. He joined French side Monaco in 2013 for reportedly €43 million.

Antoine Griezmann

  • Price: €54m

It is to no one’s surprise that before completing one of Barcelona’s most expensive transfers of all time, Antoine Griezmann had managed to put his name on the list of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever. The French striker arrived at the club from

Real Sociedad

after signing a contract which cost Atletico more than €50 million.

It was astonishing to see a young player become such an integral part of a team’s squad. Griezmann went on to make more than 250 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side as he helped his club reach two Champions League finals, in both of which they lost to their fierce rivals

Real Madrid

. Although Griezmann was not able to repeat Falcao’s feats at the club, he still managed to score an impressive 133 goals while also impressing in the assists department as he provided a solid 50 assists during his career at Atletico Madrid.

Being one of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever is one thing, but also becoming one of the most expensive signings of another club such as Barcelona must mean that you’re one of the best around. Of course paying €120 million for Antoine Griezmann has not paid off yet, as the 2018 World Cup winner is currently struggling to settle in at the club and find his past form once again.

Diego Costa

  • Price: €60m

Imagine selling one of your best strikers for €40 million, only to buy him back a couple of years later for a higher price. It might sound silly but that is what Atletico did back in 2018 when they bought

Diego Costa

from Chelsea for €60 million and made him one of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever, a player whom they had initially acquired for only €1m from Real Valladolid. The Spanish striker could truly be considered as the soul of Atletico Madrid, as his rough style of play suits the even rougher tactics of Diego Simeone.

He tends to bully the opposition’s defense with his immense physical strength, which is exactly what his manager needs of him to open the way for less strong strikers such as Joao Felix to move inside the box and put the finishing touch. After

Luis Suarez

’s arrival, the fans and the media were all excited to see the duo in action together as they were expected to further annoy the opposition players with their shenanigans.

Costa has made over 200 appearances for Atleti, but has only managed to score 82 goals, providing 36 assists in the process, which might not be what one would expect from one of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever. The 32-year-old striker’s current market value stands at €10 million, which is far less than his peak market value of €60 million, which was active only a couple of years ago.

Thomas Lemar

  • Price: €72m

Thomas Lemar was supposed to be one of the up and coming midfielders of his generation after his €72 million move away from Monaco which made him one of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever, but the gradual fall of his transfer market value shows that he still needs time to fully realize his potential in the coming years.

The 24-year-old French striker is usually used as a fresh set of lungs to rejuvenate the squad in the second half and hold on to a lead or finally make a comeback possible. That is why Atletico manager Diego Simeone opts to send him on to the pitch as a substitute or subs him off earlier in the game so that other players in Atletico’s extensive roster of midfielders could help the team further.

Since joining the club in 2018 and becoming one of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever,

Thomas Lemar

has made 78 appearances in all competitions, scoring 3 goals and providing 7 assists in total, a figure which is expected to be a lot higher, specially for a player who has arrived at a club for more than €70 million.

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We will have to wait and see if the 2018 World Cup winner will actually be able to beat the odds and earn a fixed position on the starting XI in the near future, or if he continues to be subbed on and off the pitch for several seasons to come.

Joao Felix

  • Price: €127m

When we talk about the most expensive teenager in the world of football, you might remember Kylian Mbappe who broke the world-record for the highest transfer fee paid for a teenager in 2017 after PSG paid around €145 million to sign him from

Monaco

.

This extraordinary record, however, does not overshadow the fact that Atleti actually paid an eye-watering, mind-blowing, jaw dropping €127 million to bring in Joao Felix from

Benfica

in 2019, which put his name on top of the list of Atletico Madrid most expensive signings ever.

Watching the likes of Joao Felix and Kylian Mbappe truly makes us happy as we are reassured that the future of football is in good hands. Joao Felix, often referred to as Menino de Ouro (The Golden Boy) by the Portuguese and Spanish sports media, has already made a name for himself by breaking a number of records over the couple of years that he has started his career. Most notably, the Portuguese wonderkid became the youngest hat-trick scorer in the Europa League, while also winning the Golden Boy award in the same year.

Becoming one of

Atletico Madrid

most expensive signings ever has not been easy on Joao Felix as he has struggled to live up to the expectations of some of the more hardcore fans as he has scored 14 goals while providing 5 assists in 44 games. Of course expecting every player to adapt quickly and score lots of goals is not realistic and they all need their own time to adapt to a club’s atmosphere and play style. If Felix can avoid constant injuries, he has the chance to become one of the greatest players of the next generation of football, but only time will tell how things go on.

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