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The Argentine says the 22-year-old provides hope to the club's budding stars and was delighted with their resolve demonstrated in their latest Primera Division success.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has tipped young midfielder Koke for greatness after he made his 100th Liga appearance in the 4-2 win over Rayo Vallecano.

The Spain international has been linked with the likes of Manchester United in recent months, but his Argentine coach is hoping that the 22-year-old becomes an icon for Rojiblancos youth team players for years to come.

"He is a guy with a huge future," Simeone told AS. "He gives us many solutions in games and is an example to the guys pushing from below [the first team]."

Reflecting on the match, Simeone was happy with his side's performance against a plucky Vallecano outfit.

"It was a difficult game at a difficult stadium because Rayo are a brave team who are not afraid to play," he said. "We did very well for the first half hour, but then they balanced the game out and scored their goal. Being 3-1 up at haltime was not bad. This is a very positive result. This team solved a problem that didn't seem easy."

David Villa and Saul scored either side of Arda Turan's double for the Copa del Rey holders at Vallecas, with Jonathan Viera and Joaquin Larrivey netting for the hosts.

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