Diego Simeone believes that striker Antoine Griezmann will continue to get better as his Atletico Madrid’s form picks up pace this season.
Atletico only managed to muster five points across their first four games of the new campaign in La Liga but have since won three on the bounce, including coming from a goal down to defeat Monaco 2-1 in the first game of the Champions League group stages.
France forward Griezmann has only scored twice domestically this term, but the 27-year-old World Cup winner has also provided three assists in six appearances.
Simeone remains confident that his star striker will only get better as the team grows, with his side preparing for a derby clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“The team is improving and, as a result, the individuals are improving too,” the Argentine said.
“It’s very difficult for a player [Griezmann] to be better when the team is not playing well. They have improved and, so, our key players are growing.”
Asked whether the former Real Sociedad man would be able to help the club to another victory against their biggest rivals, Simeone said that he was hopeful he could make a difference, but stressed that it would not be an easy encounter.
“It will be difficult for all of us to face Real Madrid, but I expect it to be a game which he can make more comfortable for us,” he added.
Atletico sit two points behind leaders Barcelona and Real in La Liga, on level terms with Deportivo Alaves and Espanyol, and know that an away victory will prove vital to their title ambitions.
Simeone’s side has not won the top-tier crown since 2013-14 and are looking to arrest a run of four straight titles between Ernesto Valverde and Julen Lopetegui’s sides.
They are also looking to emulate Real’s run in the Champions League, having downed Marseille 3-0 in the Europa League final last season in Lyon, with Griezmann scoring a brace to help secure silverware.
After their derby, Atletico next play Club Brugge in their second European match of the season on October 3, before they host Real Betis in La Liga four days later on October 7.