Gelson blames Simeone's defensive system for Atletico Madrid struggles

After starting one league match for Atletico Madrid, Gelson Martins puts his minimal impact down to Diego Simeone's "very defensive" system.

Gelson Martins as been linked with a permanent move to Monaco.   -  Getty Images

Gelson Martins believes he failed to make an impact at Atletico Madrid because Diego Simeone's "very defensive" tactics did not suit his game.

Portugal international Martins joined Atletico from Sporting CP in July 2018 but made just one La Liga start before being sent on loan to Monaco in January.

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He adapted a lot better at the Stade Louis II as he scored four goals and laid on two assists in 16 Ligue 1 appearances in the second half of the campaign.

Gelson admits to being disappointed that it did not work out for him at Atleti, telling Portuguese newspaper Record: "It was a difficult year. When I went to Atletico it was with the intention of playing, obviously, but it is not easy to break into the team. 

"Maybe my style of play was not adapted to the ideas of Diego Simeone because it is a very defensive team. 

"We talked and Simeone even sent me a message saying that he wanted to play me in the end because it would be useful in the counter-attack. Then I played and it did not work well."

He added: "At the beginning I thought that it would be good, because I saw that they defended and bet on the counter-attack. I started playing and I felt difficulties.

"I am a fast player who likes to bet on speed and I started to have to get the ball with my back to the opposing goal. I was a bit disappointed, but there were other players who left Portugal and have won at Atletico Madrid."

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Monaco announced last month that an agreement has been reached with Atletico to sign Gelson on a permanent basis and, following a frustrating six-month spell in Spain, he is eager to get his career back on track.

"Going to Monaco [in January] was the best possible decision," he said. "We can never forget where we come from to achieve success. Whenever I'm in a bad moment, I remember that I went through a lot and that nothing can stop me to keep evolving."

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