This was arguably always going to be Diego Simeone's most challenging summer in his nine-year stint as Atletico Madrid boss.


A wave of modern club legends, stalwarts and young talents made their way through the Wanda Metropolitano exit door, leaving El Cholo with one hell of a rebuilding job. One they would desperately need to get right to take advantage of uncertainty at Real Madrid and Barcelona to make a tilt for the title. 


The likes of Juanfran, Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri and Antoine Griezmann left big boots to fill, so how have the 2019/20 summer recruits fared so far? We've assessed how each of the club's new arrivals have started the season.


Joao Felix

Joao Felix

At 19 years old and with undeniable potential Joao Felix should really be considered one for the future. However, his current high expectations are built on the tripod of a £113m fee paid to Benfica, the talent he's already shown in his brief career and the fact that he's largely seen as Antoine Griezmann's successor.


When you consider that Atleti have been woefully short of goals in La Liga so far, Felix's return of two goals and assist is a promising sign. He's also currently the club's top scorer in all competitions after adding a Champions League goal to his tally. Give him time and this boy will almost certainly come good. 


Grade: B+


Marcos Llorente

Marcos Llorente

Simeone's side has always thrived as an underdog, happy to let the other team have possession - the problem now is that ​Atleti find themselves with the ball with much more often. This is reflected in El Cholo's midfield tinkering, trying different combinations to make his team more creative and fluid this season.


Llorente has certainly suffered as a result, featuring in six of eight La Liga matches but starting just one since his £35m move from city rivals Real. If Simeone is unsure of who his best midfield partnership or trio is, it certainly makes grading their summer recruits in this position tricky. 


What is evident is that Thomas Partey has stepped up to replace Rodri's role in the team and given both Llorente and his manager even more of a selection headache.


Grade: C


Hector Herrera 

Hector Herrera

The struggle of Marcos Llorente is also applicable to free transfer Hector Herrera, who arrived from Porto this summer. Koke, Saul Ñiguez and Partey are all ahead of the Mexican midfielder and you could argue Llorente is too - given that the Spaniard is five years younger.


With just one La Liga start, a substitute appearance and a cameo from the bench in the ​Champions League, Herrera's role is clearly squad player and he has pretty much ticked the box in steadying the ship when he has appeared. 


His stoppage-time equaliser completed Atleti's comeback against Juventus, so that will have certainly earned him favour in the red half of Madrid. 


Grade: C-


Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier

A player reinvigorated by his move to Los Rojiblancos, Kieran Trippier has had no problem filling Juanfran's boots. It was the Englishman's pinpoint cross that landed on Herrera's head and showed everyone that his set-piece delivery had gone absolutely nowhere after a difficult season at ​Tottenham.


Trippier has been excellent at moving the team further up the pitch, helping them press the opposition and win the ball back early. Although he's yet to register a La Liga assist, finding their right back early for him to whip balls into the box has been a feature of the Atleti team this season. 


Already taking Spanish lessons and settling his family into Madrid, the 'Bury Beckham' is loving life in the capital. 


Grade: A


Renan Lodi

Gareth Bale,Renan Lodi

On the opposite flank, 21-year-old Renan Lodi has made the left back berth his own, following an £18m transfer from Brazilian side Athletico Paranaense. Like Tripper, Lodi has added fresh legs and energy to an ageing defensive that has coped remarkably with Filipe Luis' exit. 


Touted by some as Brazil's long-term successor to ​Marcelo, it's easy to see why. Lodi is not only excellent at getting to the byline to demonstrate exceptional crossing ability, he is also defensively solid and showing awareness in the big games. 


With Trippier and Lodi both featuring in seven of eight La Liga games, the answer to whether Simeone could replace Juanfran and Luis is a resounding yes.


Grade: A


Felipe

Lokomotiv Moskva v Atletico Madrid: Group D - UEFA Champions League

While Griezmann's departure stole all the headlines, their biggest loss slipped out the back door and joined Inter on a free transfer. Diego Godin had been so vital to Atleti's success in recent years and his partnership with Jose Gimenez was one of the most formidable in world football.


Simeone signed two centre halves this summer and neither has made a significant impact as Stefan Savic stepped up to become the regular partner to Gimenez. 


Already 30 years old, ​Felipe signed from Porto for £18m this summer and has only featured in two La Liga fixtures to date. Heralded for his versatility and ball-playing skills upon his arrival, he may shine when Atleti experience defensive injuries and finally address the midfield balance.


Grade: D+


 Mario Hermoso

Mario Hermoso

A £22.5m summer recruit from Espanyol, fellow central defender Mario Hermoso also has just two La Liga appearances to his name this season. 


However, time is most definitely on the Spaniard's side. Still just 24 years old - the same age as Gimenez - there's plenty of time for Hermoso to settle in and demonstrate the talent shown for Espanyol on a bigger club stage. 


If he can seal a regular spot in the heart of Atleti's defence, he will be confident of adding to his five Spain caps and living up to his billing as Gerard Pique's successor at internatio.


Grade: C+