It may have taken a while, but Chelsea loanee Nathan is finally getting some well earned love and respect at Atlético Mineiro. The former Athletico Paranaense attacking midfielder has been putting in the work under head coach Rodrigo Santana, showing good versatility in central midfield, in both attack- and defence-oriented duties.
But his contract at the club only lasts until December of this calendar year, which is also the end of the Brazilian league season. At that point, he will be allowed to negotiate a free transfer to a potential new club, as he will be in the last six months of his Chelsea contract. And his intentions are clear: he wants to stay at Atlético, to keep reaping the rewards of the positive relationships he has built over his 15-month tenure, so far, at the club.
“I am very interested in staying, I even spoke about it with my father, who handles these things. I told him that I feel good here, I feel at home. I like everyone who works here, from the president to the people working in the kitchen.
“I do not have animosity towards anyone, everyone is my friend, I get along really well with everybody. I know that I can help Atlético a lot on a daily basis. I am here to help, no matter where I play. If [manager] Rodrigo needs to count on me, I will give my all to try to help the team.
“I have adapted [to Atlético Mineiro] quite well. At the beginning it was a bit hard, but now I feel at home.”
-Nathan; source: Super Esportes
With Chelsea keen on cutting down the Loan Army numbers before FIFA come swooping in with new rules, players like Nathan are probably well on their way out already. Now we can only hope that he gets to keep on performing for Atlético, and maybe help them get out of a slump, which has seen them win just one of their last eight games, with seven losses to boot.