Four seasons ago Thomas Lemar arrived at Atlético with a vitola that became a shackle on his feet: most expensive signing in the history of the club until that summer, that of 2018, in which the rojiblanco club paid 70 million for his incorporation to Monaco. It also came with a recommendation. That of his friend, compatriot and teammate, Antoine Griezmann, who renewed that summer in which he was proclaimed world champion and after recording The Decision, a documentary in which he announced, NBA-style, that his choice between Atlético and Barcelona was to “stay” (a year later he would leave, but that’s another story). Lemar arrived and shone. Forever, his Super Cup against Real Madrid in Tallinn, where each play was decorated with confetti and exclamations. And that’s it. That Lemar did not show up for Atlético again until much, much later.
Because Lemar’s shirt began to weigh him down, the money it had cost and he went out to each game as if writing his goodbye at the rojiblanco club. He didn’t give one, as if entangled in his own anxiety. Three goals that 2018-19 season, zero the next, 2019-20 and one constant: Simeone did not lose faith in him. And he put him. And he put him. And he put him. He put him even though few understood it. “You don’t see how he trains”, slide people who do, from day to day on the Hill. That’s why Simeone believed: because in training, without an audience, without the growing buzz around him, Lemar was once again the Lemar that was signed. That differential footballer. The best. That summer of 2020 was on the market. But without great suitors. Or suitors who would make them disburse an amount that would leave Atlético satisfied. So João Félix had already joined the team but Lemar was still the same. Lost in the dark. And that in 2020 the soccer teams were already playing without an audience, the outbreak of COVID, the confinement, the pandemic. Lemar did not leave. And in LaLiga that followed, the one that Atleti won, at last he really got under the spotlight.
You have not responded to a renewal offer
Because the Lemar of 2020-21 was the one who signed, differential, as if playing without an audience that pressure that blocked his legs, that did not allow him to stand out, to play, had disappeared. One of the outstanding footballers of that Atlético, he acted as a glue between the center of the field and the forward. She went back to talking about his brutal class and not about him as a failed signing. Atlético was proclaimed champion of the League and his performance had to do with that title achieved in Valladolid, last day. The braids were tight on his shirt. But it’s 21-22 that has just finished, the injuries have obscured him again, which have not allowed him to perform. When he has played, he has stood out. The shirt no longer weighs him down. They are his legs: four muscle injuries and the coronavirus. 97 days without Simeone being able to count on him. The team noticed. The club has offered him a renewal, his contract ends in 2023, but for now he has been met with silence. At the moment it is still waiting for him, but if a good offer arrives for all parties…