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Atletico Madrid: Why David Villa is Falcao's Ideal Replacement

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 26:  David Villa of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona at Cornella-El Prat Stadium on May 26, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images
Cronan YuContributor IIIJuly 9, 2013

The transfer was simply inevitable. On Monday, news broke via Barcelona’s official website that David Villa had completed a switch to Atletico Madrid, with the club announcing: “The deal will be worth a maximum of 5.1 million Euros," amid transfer rumours that the Blaugrana had lined up a swap deal with Manchester United which would have effectively seen Villa and Thiago move to the Old Trafford and want-away striker Wayne Rooney make a switch to Barca, as reported by Sport earlier in the day.

And it seems that Villa did indeed choose football over the money, a move which will hopefully prove to be a smart move on the striker's part, and evidence of poor player management on Tito Vilanova's part.

Having played a bit-part role for Barcelona since his return from an eight month lay-off and with Vicente Del Bosque choosing to select Fernando Torres in the No. 9 role ahead of Villa, it can be argued that Villa's acquisition of 5.1 million Euros was in fact a waste of money. And with Los Rojiblancos gaining a truck-load of cash from the sale of Radamel Falcao, the club should've opted to sign a more expensive alternative, a player who was able to offer versatility up front.

Yet despite his injury, from which he missed a considerable amount of football, it is worth reminding that David Villa is only 31 years old, still is in his prime and arguably has a good 3-4 seasons of football ahead of him. His performances towards the end of last season showed real promise and intent from the player, and although critics may question his "prolificness" in front of goal, his years and years of footballing experience should be enough to persuade fans that Villa by all means remains a quality striker.

In fact, the Spain International played a pivotal role in helping Barca qualify for the Champions League final as he scored against AC Milan, helping the Catalans secure a magnificent come-back before assisting Pedro in scoring the decisive goal as Barcelona were headed for elimination against PSG in the quarter-finals.

However, his move to Atletico is an opportunity for Spain's leading goal scorer to recapture those glorious days of the past and signals a fresh start. He is seen by Diego Simeone as Falcao's ideal replacement and there is no doubt that Villa will be given every chance to start, an aspect which became a rarity towards the end of Villa's time at the Camp Nou.

He will also have the luxury of playing Champions League football, a competition which will allow him to play against Europe's elite defences and in turn will open up opportunities to lead La Roja's faltering attack.

David Villa has everything which will allow him to be even more successful than his predecessor. He possesses formidable striker instincts, has a great touch, has the ability to score from anywhere around the box. In addition, he can be an aerial threat and has proved to be a player who possesses large amounts of creativity.

On a tactical viewpoint, Simeone will not need to implement any new changes as Villa possesses all the traits that Falcao did, and in fact, could be seen as an upgraded version of the attacker. 

Simeone will be tasked with the unavoidable job of assisting the attacker in reaching his peak and will undoubtedly use Villa as his attacking focal point whilst bringing in creative players the likes of Arda Turan to assist. Should Turan and Villa's partnership be successful, they may prove to be one of the most formidable attacking partnerships in Spain and success will naturally follow.

The stage has been set for one of football's greatest come-backs. There is no doubt that Villa still possesses the quality in becoming one of the world's most feared strikers. Age is no obstacle, nor is the club, and Villa could not have asked for a better environment to recapture those glory days of the past. His signing will prove to be the catalyst of Atleti's future successes. Villa's renaissance has only just begun.

Follow Cronan and continue the conversation on Twitter:@CrowzarY

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