Return to Play: UEFA is preparing for the safe return of its elite competitions.

Learn more >

Atlético new boy Vietto set to thrill

After Luciano Vietto signed a six-year contract with Club Atlético de Madrid,'s Joe Walker runs the rule over the Argentinian who announced himself last season.

Luciano Vietto scored 12 Liga goal for Villarreal last season
Luciano Vietto scored 12 Liga goal for Villarreal last season ©AFP/Getty Images

Club Atlético de Madrid have made Villarreal CF's Luciano Vietto their first summer signing, with the forward inking a six-year deal.

After losing Mario Mandžukić to Juventus last month, Atlético coach Diego Simeone has moved quickly to reinforce his front line for an outlay reportedly in the region of €20m. In recruiting his fellow Argentinian, who netted 12 times during his debut Liga campaign with Villarreal last term, Simeone has signed a young man tipped for a very bright future.

The 21-year-old is a player Simeone knows well, having handed him his first professional start aged just 17 while boss of Racing Club de Avellaneda. "I will be grateful to him for the rest of my life," said the diminutive attacker, although that sentiment did not extend to the pitch when he faced his old mentor at the Vicente Calderón last December. Vietto's solitary goal condemned the then Spanish champions to their first home defeat in over 18 months.

Vietto scores the winner against Atlético in Madrid
Vietto scores the winner against Atlético in Madrid©AFP/Getty Images

As a forward, he likes to drop deep and get involved with play. However, his turn of pace and predatory instincts also make him more than capable of leading the line alone, and he has developed a knack of taking goalkeepers by surprise by hitting the ball early. He boasts a healthy goalscoring record throughout his career, including a breakthrough 2012/13 season in Argentina that yielded 13 goals in 32 games. Playing alongside the likes of Koke and Antoine Griezmann should only improve that strike rate.

If his directness and ability have earned him comparisons to Atlético old boy Sergio Agüero, it is a likeness Vietto tolerates, saying: "I hope I can be half as good as him. That would make me very happy." During Villarreal's run to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 last term, Vietto notched eight times and supplied six assists – showing his form extends to the European scene. He will now hope to make his mark on the UEFA Champions League with the competition's 2014 runners-up.