Just a year after Atletico Madrid sold Filipe Luis to Chelsea for a figure close to €20m, the left-back is on his way back to the Spanish club. The return leg of the deal is believed to be costing the team from Madrid around €16m although exact details have yet to be confirmed.
The Brazilian failed to establish himself as a regular first-team at Stamford Bridge having made just nine starting appearances in the league. The player claims that he does not regret the move and will leave with a Premier League winner’s medal to add to the Spanish League winner’s medal that he claimed the year before. However, it is clear that playing a secondary role to in-form Cesar Azpilicueta was not part of the plan when he moved to London.
Having upset many of the Atleti faithful by leaving the title-winning side last summer, he now faces the task of redeeming himself in front of a notoriously vocal audience. But having previously spent four seasons at the club, the move certainly feels like a homecoming.
Luis first signed for the Rojiblancos in 2010 when he moved from Deportivo La Coruna for a €12m fee. At the time, the Madrid team had just won the Europa League but were languishing in mid-table in the domestic campaign. Meanwhile, the player had recently been linked with a move to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. As a result, the signing was considered as something of a coup by the club’s fan base and the Spanish media.
At 29-years-of-age, Felipe Luis is still in his prime and his arrival could prompt the departure of fellow countryman Guilherme Siqueira. The defender was recruited from Benfica last summer as a direct replacement for Luis and soon established himself in the left-back role ahead of versatile loan signing Cristian Ansaldi.
However, Diego Simeone is known to be a big admirer of the returnee and it is likely that he will be his preferred choice ahead of Siqueira barring any injury or obvious lack of form.
Going back to a team where you enjoyed previous success does not always work out, but in the case of Filipe Luis, it feels like a natural step. He always felt at home in Madrid, but was keen to challenge himself outside of Spain. While his spell at Chelsea may not have worked out the way he had hoped, he always remained professional and will certainly have gained from the experience.
As for winning back the support of the fans – that’s easy. He just needs to pulls on the red and white shirt and let his football do the talking.
Written by Neil Morris
Follow Neil on Twitter @nmorris01
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