Atletico's French connection break down Simeone-Dembele language barrier

By Sports Desk January 20, 2021

Diego Simeone insists he is having no problem getting his message across to new signing Moussa Dembele thanks to the French language speakers already at Atletico Madrid.

Dembele joined Atletico on loan from Lyon last week until the end of the season, at which point LaLiga's leaders will have the option to buy him permanently for €33.5m.

The former Celtic striker has scored just once in 16 Ligue 1 appearances this season but comes in to bolster Atlei's forward line following the departure of Diego Costa.

Simeone has been impressed by Dembele's initial efforts in training, something he conceded has been made easier by the presence of Thomas Lemar, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Yannick Carrasco.

"Dembele just arrived a few days ago and he is trying to settle into the group," Simeone said ahead of Thursday's trip to Eibar, one of Atletico's games in hand on Real Madrid that could see them extend their advantage at the summit to seven points.

"Thankfully he has team-mates like Kondogbia, Carrasco and Lemar who are close to him and doing translations in order to make the communication quicker.

"We will have time to let him know what we want from him exactly, in the meantime we let him to settle in the best way with his  team-mates.

"I see him excited and happy. He is a number nine and we expect from him all the good we saw in him to bring him to Atletico Madrid."

Dembele's presence could further hinder Joao Felix's chances of getting back into Simeone's starting XI.

The record signing was a substitute in each of Atleti's past two LaLiga encounters and has not found the net since the 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on December 1.

Nevertheless, Simeone remains satisfied with the Portugal international's contributions.

"I ask Joao the same as always - to be involved in the group, as he is. Being competitive, as he has been in the last games," he added.

"He didn’t start the game, but he was important for the team from other positions. When he got in, he showed all his talent and quality. The team needs his skills."

Related items

  • Betis beat Sevilla as Guardado appears to mock Jordan injury Betis beat Sevilla as Guardado appears to mock Jordan injury

    Manuel Pellegrini said it was a bittersweet feeling after Real Betis beat Sevilla 2-1 in a Copa del Rey derby that spanned two days and was marred by violence. 

    The Betis head coach saw his team resume at 1-1 on Sunday at Estadio Benito Villamarin, and a strike from Sergio Canales carried them through to the quarter-finals.

    The game had been suspended on Saturday due to crowd trouble, with Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan hit by an object from the stands during celebrations of Nabil Fekir's 39th-minute goal that equalised Papu Gomez's opener.

    Jordan was taken to hospital for checks after being struck by a projectile from the crowd that appeared to hit him on the head.

    After the game was completed behind closed doors on Sunday, television footage emerged of Betis substitute Andres Guardado seemingly mocking Jordan's misfortune while celebrating, bouncing a water bottle off his forehead and slumping to the ground, feigning injury.

    The incident drew an immediate rebuke in the Spanish media, where it was widely interpreted as a jibe at Jordan.

    Pellegrini said of the result, according to AS: "The first thing is that I'm happy to be in the next round. But also bitter because I think a lot of damage has been done by a brainless person [when Jordan was hit on Saturday].

    "I don't know if a plastic tube does that much damage, but there has to be an investigation. Football suffered great damage."

    Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui did not want the game to resume on Sunday, and said: "There were many possibilities to play on other days. Justice in this case does not exist at all."

    Canales put Betis ahead in the 73rd minute when he was left in space on the left after a pass from William Carvalho and surged forward before beating goalkeeper Alfonso Pastor.

    Jules Kounde hit the bar with a late header as Sevilla battled for a leveller.

  • Reggae Boy Moore stripped of Reading captaincy - defender shocked by club's strongly-worded statement Reggae Boy Moore stripped of Reading captaincy - defender shocked by club's strongly-worded statement

    Jamaica Reggae Boy Liam Moore has been stripped of the club captaincy by struggling Championship outfit Reading who have taken exception to the player’s ambitions of moving away from the club.

    Reading made the announcement via its official website, making it clear it had become frustrated with the player in recent months.

     “Over the course of the last few months, centre-back Liam Moore has spoken with manager Veljko Paunovic and directors of the club to state his clear desire to leave Reading Football Club and pursue his career elsewhere,” the statement read.

    “Obviously we are disappointed that Liam, a player awarded one of the club’s most significant contracts, has now stated his intention to move on. Whilst we have patiently waited for his representatives to provide us with options for us to consider in helping him fulfil that request, no offer or opportunity has been presented to the club to date,” it added.

    Moore, who joined the club in 2016, following a loan spell at Bristol City, has gone on to make 216 appearances for the club.  Future appearances could be harder to come by.

    “Although we have undeniably experienced a very difficult first half to our season, due in part to an unimaginable injury crisis which has most recently left us devoid of almost all our fit or available defensive options, we still demand loyalty, focus, and committed performances from every individual who pulls on a Reading shirt in front of our fans. And we expect our players, particularly our new captain, to wear the crest with pride and dedicate their total focus to the club on behalf of its loyal fanbase.”

    Moore has since expressed surprise at the club’s decision via his social media account.

    “Incredible shocked by the statement released tonight.  The player said via his IG handle.”

  • Tunisia 4-0 Mauritania: Khazri nets brace as Eagles of Carthage soar past the Lions Tunisia 4-0 Mauritania: Khazri nets brace as Eagles of Carthage soar past the Lions

    Wahbi Khazri scored twice as Tunisia boosted their hopes of progressing to the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages with a commanding 4-0 win over Mauritania.

    The Saint-Etienne forward struck in each half, while Hamza Mathlouthi and Seifeddine Jaziri were also on target as the Eagles of Carthage secured their first points in Group F.

    After defeat in their opener against Mali, Tunisia were aiming to avoid losing four successive Africa Cup of Nations matches for the first time in their history.

    However, they made the perfect start; striking twice inside the opening 10 minutes at Stade Municipal de Limbe. First, Mathlouthi drilled in his first international goal, while Khazri slotted home soon after.

    Any faint hopes Mauritania had of getting back into the game were dashed in the 64th minute, when Khazri brilliantly dummied Ali Maaloul's ball before finishing the return pass from Ghaylene Chaalali.

    He then turned provider two minutes later with a perfectly timed throughball for Jaziri to neatly finish.

    Youssef Msakni squandered the chance to make it five in the dying moments. His penalty came back off the post, meaning Tunisia have now missed their last three spot-kicks in the competition.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.