Without making much noise, Atlético de Madrid continues to move to refresh certain positions for this season of defense of the league title. This Thursday, the rojiblanco club has renewed one of the most reviled positions in the squad, that of the substitute for Jan Oblak, the substitute goalkeeper. In a double move with French clubs, Ivo Grbic has been loaned out to Lille, and in his place, Atlético have signed Benjamin Lecomte from Monaco, who is also on loan until the end of the season.
In the shadow of Oblak, Grbic had hardly been able to feel like a footballer last season, after signing a contract until 2024. His only appearance was in a Cup match, in the first round against Cardassar de Tercera División, which ended 0-3 . The 25-year-old Croatian goalkeeper leaves without having made his LaLiga debut in the direction of the French tournament champion, to try to face the almighty PSG.
His replacement will be a seasoned player with a lot of experience in the elite of French football. Benjamin Lecomte, 30, will assume for the first time in his career the position of second goalkeeper of the team after several years being the first option in their teams. He made the leap to Ligue 1 with Montpellier in 2017 and in his first two seasons in the French first division he was among the nominees for best goalkeeper of the year. In 2019 he signed for Monaco where he has played 60 games and kept a clean sheet in 20 of them, being a key player in qualifying for the qualifying phase of the Champions League.
Lecomte will face the dictatorship of Jan Oblak, who at 26 years old stands unshakable in the red-and-white goal. In the last four years, the Slovenian has only missed two league games and the last two have played them all. The Champions League is not an option either, as even with qualification guaranteed in the group stage, Simeone has always chosen Oblak. The Copa del Rey will be their chance, a competition in which Atlético has been losing prematurely to Third Division teams for two consecutive seasons.
Lecomte joins De Paul as Atlético’s only reinforcements thus far, focusing on the renovations of several more important pieces of the team. Simeone, the most important of them, was the first to extend his contract until 2024. Then it was Savic and Giménez, who renewed in tandem until 2024 and 2025 respectively. The last has been Marcos Llorente, who is in league with the rojiblancos until 2027.