Atletico Madrid’s Argentine coach Diego Simeone has defended the role played by Spanish winger Víctor Machín Perez, known as Vitolo, saying he is on a developing curve.

Vitolo has played just 20 league minutes since joining Atletico in January after his time on loan to Las Palmas ended, prompting speculation about his role with the Rojiblancos, reports Efe.

“If I am not mistaken, he was in the starting lineup against Sevilla (in the Spanish cup first leg) and shortly after joining us, he was in the starting lineup against Lleida here,” Simeone said.

“Against Girona he was brought on ten minutes before time, as happened also versus Las Palmas,” he continued. “He is on a developing curve and he is a short distance away from satisfying the club’s needs.”

“I am not noticing anything strange. Quite the opposite. He is a guy who will contribute with a lot of important things, especially when turning from defense to offense, this is what I am looking forward to and we have faith in him,” he added.

Brazilian left back Filipe Luis is also set to appear in the starting lineup after being sidelined for nine games by physical issues.

The Argentine coach said that Luis resumed team training last week, highlighting his importance to the club.