Striker light – twice: Atletico lose two frontmen in one day

La Liga losing one of its brightest stars. Atlético Madrid in all kinds of trouble up front. Still not enough to knock their attention-sucking neighbours from the front pages of Marca and AS on Thursday.

Despite the €45m transfer being all but done and dusted the previous evening, with Kun Agüero tweeting that he was a Manchester City player – and apparently also aware that the club isn’t in North London or Madrid, unlike Robinho – both papers still felt the need to point out how great Real Madrid are.

AS cooed over how well José Mourinho’s signings were doing in pre-season, while Marca were full of love for Karim Benzema after the French forward scored two goals against Hertha Berlin to apparently push himself to the front of the striking queue ahead of the still-holidaying Gonzalo Higuaín. “Now he thinks about football the same way I do,” said a contented Mourinho after the 3-1 win in Berlin.

Both papers missed what was possibly worse news for Atlético than Kun’s departure, which was hardly the greatest of surprises. During the training session ahead of Thursday’s Europa League qualifying clash at home to Stromsgodset, Brazilian forward Diego Costa ended up with a cruciate ligament knack that could see him out for six to eight months.

Now Atlético's forward department consists of Adrián – a freebie from Deportivo who only scored eight league goals last season – and Diego Forlán, who has just decided that he wants to stay at the Vicente Calderón after all despite a year of moaning and groaning about the concept.

To be fair to the Uruguayan, he jetted into Madrid on Wednesday to make himself available for Thursday’s key clash. “I’m tired, but after a couple of days' rest it will be worth the effort.”

Although many supporters will still rank Kun alongside David De Gea as a mercenary who abandoned the club which watered and nurtured them, there will be some relief that the Argentinian is off to Manchester City rather than Real Madrid.

"Where do I sign?" Aguero in Manchester

“This move [the one that didn't happen] would have done a lot of damage to the Rojiblanco fans,” writes AS's FJ Diáz, who thinks that Kun will still miss Atletico. “Agüero has gone to the cold and rain of Manchester. One day, he’ll miss the warmth from people who loved him like no other.”

Marca feel that Kun fell victim to an honourable Real Madrid deciding against upsetting their neighbours. “Despite being a player who would have been just the right thing for the team and been the preference of the fans – much more than Neymar – Florentino and Mourinho have been true to their word and did not want to take advantage of the situation. Real Madrid preferred to maintain good relations with the Rojiblancos.”

Atlético big cheeses Enrique Cerezo and Miguel Angel Gil will have an immediate sense of the supporters’ disquiet over the summer’s transfer dealings on Thursday night at the Vicente Calderón with the Europa League qualifying clash against their Norwegian opponents.  It’s a game coming at the end of a week that could get even worse club if they get the wrong result on the night. 

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