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Atletico Madrid signs Geoffrey Kondogbia: But how is it possible now?



Atletico Madrid signs Geoffrey Kondogbia: But how is it possible now?

Atletico Madrid has confirmed the signing of Geoffrey Kondogbia from fellow La Liga side Valencia. The midfielder has signed a deal for the remainder of the year and three more seasons. But what is intriguing is that how is it possible to sign a player during this time of the season?


How did Atletico manage to sign Kondogbia?

Under La Liga rules, clubs can sign a player within a month if they have lost a player after their release clause was triggered. Arsenal activated Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey’s release clause on the transfer deadline day (October 5th). This meant Atletico could bring in Partey’s replacement by November 5th, and they have now turned to Kondogbia to fill in the gap.


How will Kondogbia fit in?

French-born Kondogbia, who represents the Central African Republic internationally, will be a welcome addition to Diego Simeone’s setup. The 27-year-old predominantly plays as a deep-lying midfielder and could prove to be the missing piece in the jigsaw.

Other midfield options for the Rojiblancos include Saul Niguez, Hector Herrera and Lucas Torreira. So clearly, Kondogbia is a different type of player. He can use his steely frame in the middle of the park to break up the opposition play.


What now for Valencia?

Kondogbia was sold by Valencia in their own wish and was not something that was enforced upon. Hence, Valencia will be unable to sign any player now. It must be noted that Valencia has been going through major financial difficulties.

Kondogbia had earlier attacked club president Anil Murthy on Instagram, accusing him of destroying ‘an ambitious project’. The club has seen a major exodus this summer having sold their best players.  The exodus included midfield duo Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin to cross-town rivals Villarreal. Leeds United and Manchester City also secured cut-price deals for Rodrigo Moreno and Ferran Torres respectively.


Other bizarre transfers in La Liga

Earlier, La Liga clubs were allowed to make an emergency signing, if a player had been ruled out for six months.

Barcelona made use of this rule earlier this year, to bring in Danish striker Martin Braithwaite from Leganes after Ousmane Dembele had suffered a long-term injury. Leganes were left fuming about the transfer as Braithwaite was a key component of their club and they couldn’t sign any replacement.

But something more controversial happened in June. A long-term injury to goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez resulted in Celta Vigo being granted an emergency exception. Celta signed former Manchester City winger Nolito from Sevilla to bolster their attack, instead of bringing in a goalkeeper.

The move resulted in major controversy due to which the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) removed this rule before the start of this season.


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Shibajee graduated in English Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Delhi. He then completed the FIFA-CIES Executive Programme in Sports Management. Shibajee has worked for IMG-R and the K League, and his columns have also appeared in BabaGol.


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