Diego Simeone has announced his Atlético Madrid team to face Valencia in their first game of the new La Liga season and one particular player most have been keen to see take to the pitch is granted his Spanish league debut tonight away at the Mestalla Stadium.
Thomas Lemar joined Los Rojiblancos this summer from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in a remarkable £63million move to the Spanish capital, signing a five-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2023.
Though he didn’t enjoy the most successful of seasons in his last year on the French Riveira, Lemar still possesses oodles of talent and at the age of still just 22 years old, is reckoned to be a first-time mainstay on the left wing for Simeone’s side over the forthcoming season.
At the time, Lemar would say on his move to the Wanda Metropolitano, “I’m very happy with the decision I made. I know this team demands hard work and I'll give it my all. If I need to run more, I'll do it without a problem.”
This comes after the Frenchman was left ‘disappointed’ that his previous move to Arsenal on deadline day August 2017 did not come into fruition. Liverpool had also previously been interested, as reported at the time by the Liverpool Echo, following talks between the 2017 Ligue 1 champions and the Reds’ Sporting Director Michael Edwards.
Lemar ended his spell at Monaco after three years and over 120 appearances since transferring from fellow French side SM Caen, and completed his move to Atlético Madrid in a productive summer when he also joined up in a the successful campaign with the France national squad at this year’s World Cup.
Lining up beside him tonight is his compatriot Antoine Griezmann, who starts up front alongside Diego Costa.
Valencia versus Atletico Madrid kicks off at 7pm (GMT) and you can follow the match live with The Sportsman below.