Joao Felix and Angel Correa have bonded well lately, but Diego Simeone attributes a large part of that to Luis Suarez’s presence.
The Uruguayan international has scored four goals in seven games since joining Atleti from La Liga rivals Barcelona for a small fee in September.
He celebrated a gap in the 3-2 win against Red Bull Salzburg and was rested for the 3-1 win against Osasuna last weekend, with Joao Felix scoring a brace in both games.
Correa backed Joao Felix in each of these games as he claimed to be the Portuguese youngster’s attacking partner.
However, Simeone insisted that it was thanks to Suarez that others on the team are at their best and urged his players to help with repaying the favor.
“I believe that all of this is generated by the presence of Suarez,” he said at a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Lokomotiv Moscow.
“With people like [Diego] Costa and [Alvaro] Morata before him had many other traits, but we looked for other traits.
“Luis needed more people around him, around where he could injure his opponent, and that’s the team’s goal.
“We had to adapt to play with it [Radamel] Falcao, with Costa and now with Suarez. ”
Joao Felix scored in both games when Atletico beat Lokomotiv at home and away in last season’s Champions League.
The Russian side have scored a point in their first two Group A games and lost nine of their last 11 European games against Spanish opponents, but Simeone is not taking them lightly.
“We will face a very competitive team,” he said. “The records of the last 14 games speak for themselves.
“Your losses were on the verge of a goal, they are always close and competitive games.
“You have to go back 15 games to get a 2-0 loss. A team that competes like this is always close to the goal. We’ll play the game where we think we can hurt them. ”
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