Radamel Falcao may not be an Atletico Madrid player for much longer. With Monaco rumored to be spending big on the forward, as well as others, according to the Daily Mail, the Spanish club must prepare for his eventual departure
The Madrid-based club is known for shipping out star strikers for large sums of money then spending big on a new forward. That will likely happen again this summer, but the question that remains is who will be brought in?
In this article we will take a look at the top five potential replacements for Radamel Falcao and how they would fit in at Atletico Madrid.
The very first candidate to replace Falcao is Leo Baptistao, who could already have a deal with Atletico Madrid to join when the summer transfer window begins.
The Brazilian striker began the season in scintillating form which resulted in attraction from Manchester United as reported by ESPN. However, if rumors are to be believed then Baptistao will be joining the Madrid club this summer.
Inside Spanish Football reported a story from AS which claimed that the 20-year-old striker was seen at the offices of Atletico Madrid and had possibly signed a pre-contract with the club.
While no real word has gotten out on the matter, all the rumors are pointing to Atletico as Baptistao’s future club. But that does not mean that he should already be seen as Falcao’s replacement.
Baptistao has a few drawbacks that Atletico fans will already be aware of.
The Brazilian has suffered several injuries in his young career and cannot be relied upon at this time to lead a club. It would be of no surprise for Baptistao to miss more than his fair share of matches next season.
But the 20-year-old is also a different type of player than Falcao. The Rayo Vallecano man loves to set up play and shoot from distance, but he is not the best finisher out there nor is he great at keeping possession.
Falcao has always been able to hold up play and is arguably one of the world’s best finishers today. So Baptistao would not be a like-for-like replacement at all, rather he would play more of a supporting role to whoever the club does bring in for Radamel Falcao.
Atletico Madrid does have options outside of Spain to replace Falcao and Christian Benteke of Aston Villa has very recently been singled out as a candidate.
Football-Espana has reported that the club rates the Belgian striker very highly and that he could even be the top target this summer. But interest is not only coming from Atletico’s side of the situation.
Benteke has also contributed to rumors recently by refusing to rule out an exit from Aston Villa this summer, via Goal.
With the 22-year-old willing to join a bigger club next season and Atletico keen on the striker, it could be the perfect match for both parties.
Unlike Leo Baptistao, Christian Benteke would be a more suitable replacement for Falcao due to his similar attributes.
The Belgian is a tremendous finisher who is able to shoot from nearly anywhere on the pitch and is one of the best headers in football. His ability to keep possession is not quite as strong, but he makes up for it with his overall offense repertoire.
Benteke has scored 19 goals in his first season in England and there is no reason why he cannot achieve the same numbers at Atletico Madrid.
Atletico Madrid could opt for experience above all else when replacing Radamel Falcao and David Villa fits that bill perfectly. The 31-year-old is very familiar with La Liga and would adapt to Atletico Madrid without any problems.
Rumors first broke out in February that Atletico could bid for the Barcelona forward this summer. Metro reported that Diego Simeone had singled out Villa as the perfect replacement and the story seemed to end there.
However, the rumors would yet again pick up.
Just this month Atletico Madrid president, Enrique Cerezo, was reported by Goal as having interest in the Spanish striker. It seems as though Villa is very much an option for Atletico and could actually stay in Spain this summer despite likely leaving Barcelona.
Villa would be a wise choice to replace Falcao. He may not be at his best anymore or possess the qualities that Falcao does, but Villa is reliable and very experienced.
If Atletico Madrid could partner David Villa with another strong scorer the club would have one of Spain’s best attacking lines. But the biggest selling point with Villa will be his Champions League experience.
Luiz Suarez is definitely one of the biggest names that will be thrown around this summer and Atletico Madrid appears to be along for the ride with their interest in the Liverpool striker.
Diego Simeone weighed in on the player as well. The Daily Mail quoted the manager as stating, “I cannot speak badly about Luis Suarez. He is extraordinary.”
It is clear that Atletico Madrid has major interest in the player. Purchasing the 26-year-old would be a similar move as the one that brought Falcao to the club. Atletico normally replaces high-profile stars with those who are arguably at the same level.
The addition of Luis Suarez would help Atletico Madrid not skip a beat with Falcao’s departure. The Uruguayan could prove invaluable in Champions League play and would certainly be a deadly striker in Spain.
There really is no denying the skill of Luis Suarez. He is one of the world’s best scorers and can lead a team offensively. Suarez would thrive at Atletico Madrid and could be more inclined to come due to the promise of Champions League exposure.
Alvaro Negredo ends our list of possible replacements for Radamel Falcao, but the Sevilla striker may be the most likely candidate.
The Spanish striker would be an excellent replacement for Falcao and would transition well to Simeone’s style of play.
It was also reported that Sevilla currently value their prized striker around €25 million. However, Sevilla will likely be forced to sell for less with the economic crisis that has hit the majority of Spanish clubs.
Negredo has been a force in La Liga for many seasons and would be a very strong performer for Atletico at a cut-rate price.
His experience and knowledge of the Spanish league mixed with his style of play would see him flourish at the capital club. He has all the tools needed to help Atletico continue their recent success.
It is quite obvious that replacing Radamel Falcao will be no easy feat. But Atletico Madrid must be sure to bring in a top-rated striker if they are to continue their growth and succeed in the Champions League next season.
Who should be Atletico Madrid’s top choice to replace Falcao? Of the players listed, who will be in Madrid next season? Leave your thoughts and comments below.
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Atletico Madrid and La Liga.