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Santiago Arias Completes Transfer to Atletico Madrid from PSV Eindhoven

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2018

Colombia's defender Santiago Arias controls the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Colombia and England at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on July 3, 2018. (Photo by Juan Mabromata / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)
JUAN MABROMATA/Getty Images

Colombia international right-back Santiago Arias is an Atletico Madrid player, after the La Liga club  announced his signing on a five-year deal, per a statement on the club's official website

Arias has moved to the Spanish capital from Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven, with the Dutch club offering thanks for his years of service:

PSV International @psveindhoven

👊 172 games 3 titles Player of the season 2017/2018 Thanks for 5 amazing years in Eindhoven, Santi! https://t.co/8f6hhYoNcd

Arias will add to manager Diego Simeone's options at full-back after Inter Milan confirmed Croatia international Sime Vrsaljko will join on loan, with the option to buy, per Goal.

However, not everybody agreed with the decision to let Vrsaljko move on:

Simon Harrison @simonhfootball

As rumoured for a long while, Santiago Arias comes in, with Sime Vrsaljko departing on loan. There has to be something below the surface with Vrsaljko, he firstly struggled to get games for no good reason and then gets moved on when his stock is high. https://t.co/7WvXad7r1J

The exchange of right-backs could favour Atletico after Arias scored four goals and provided six assists in all competitions during his final year with the Rood-witten. By contrast, Vrsaljko didn't get on the scoresheet, but he did provide four assists to help Madrid win the UEFA Europa League.

Sealing a move to La Liga caps a difficult summer for Arias:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

He had a bad World Cup but he’s a good player. Santiago Arias joins Atletico Madrid…one year after Swansea basically refused to stump up an extra couple of million for him last summer. Kyle Naughton proceeded to play 34 PL games in that position.

Despite any reservations about the 26-year-old, Atleti may have beaten some strong competition for the South American. Calciomercato's Kaustubh Pandey recently reported Serie A outfit Napoli had agreed a fee with PSV.

If Simeone's expertise defensively can iron out the deficiencies present in Arias' game, this will prove another shrewd signing for a manager who is carefully retooling his squad to get closer to champions Barcelona.

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