The 22-year-old played just two La Liga games for Los Colchoneros following David de Gea’s move to Manchester United, but lost his place to newcomer Thibaut Courtois.
Now, however, he believes he is a better and more mature ‘keeper and is hoping Atleti boss Diego Simeone gives him the opportunity to show what he can do.
“I was very happy with my experience of the Premier League but it was a blow to suffer relegation to the Championship. The players did not deserve it after the good year we had but we did get rewarded with winning the FA Cup,” Joel told AS television.
“I feel as though I’m maturing and playing in games is how you get to know about yourself. I see myself as more experienced, more enthusiastic, because at Atleti I hardly got any minutes, but I am mentally stronger now.
“I went to Wigan to play and after being on trial for two weeks finally ended up in the team and was an FA Cup winner. I thought it was going to be more difficult but I had time to relax with friends such as David de Gea and Marcos Alonso.”
The Spanish Under-21 international knows that if Courtois remains at Atleti then he will be difficult to dislodge from the No 1 spot, but Joel is adamant he can still be a success in Madrid.
“I still have a year left on my contract with Atletico but nobody has said anything to me yet. But I would like to be given the opportunity and they should show the patience a Coach should have with a goalkeeper.”
However, should Joel not be in Simeone’s future plans then he is perfectly prepared for a return to England.
“I’ve been 11 years at this club and I’ve a lot to thank them for, but not everything ends with Atletico. I’d like to be a success but if that is not to be then I’d like to play in the Premier League again.
“I was very surprised by it and with the respect shown to both players and fans,” he added.
Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football
- Sports & Recreation
- Thibaut Courtois
- Diego Simeone
- David de Gea
- Manchester United
- La Liga