Nathan’s return to the motherland has not exactly gone according to plan. After barely seeing the pitch from last season with Amiens in France (first half of the season) and Belenenses in Portugal (second half of the season), the hope was that he would be a regular at Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro in his one-year loan. Instead, he has failed to make a good impression under not just one, but two head coaches at Atlético, Thiago Larghi and Levir Culpi, and has spent most of his time since the summer either on the bench or not even getting picked for the matchday squad.
In spite of these adversities, Nathan remains positive and despite rumors of his loan getting cut short, is looking forward to doing better than the 7 appearances (4 starts) he made in the last six months.
“I try to stay calm here at [Atlético]. I feel good in physical terms, I trained hard and when there was a chance in the team, I would play well. We feel the rust from the lack of games, but we always try to be as ready as possible for when the call arises.”
“I believe this first semester of the new year will be important. Not just for me, but for other players as well. We will be on the pitch giving our all so we can begin the season in style.”
-Nathan; Source: Superesportes
Although the Brazilian season just ended, Atlético are knee-deep in making preparations already for the upcoming year. Whether or not they keep Nathan is still up in the air — Superesportes says that contrary to previous reports, Nathan might stay until July, playing as part of their B-team — while the A-team focus on the Copa Libertadores.
Outside of his early days at Atlético Paranaense and his second season at Vitesse, Nathan has yet to hit show any of the ability that supposedly piqued Chelsea’s interest. Maybe 2019 will bring some change in that regard?