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Joao Felix: Will Atletico Madrid’s biggest investment pay off?

Last updated: 06.07.2019
Will Joao Felix transfer to Atletico Madrid pay off | Sports Social Blog

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Joao Felix’s move to Atletico Madrid has proved that Mbappe’s PSG transfer wasn’t a one time thing: nothing is dictating the market quite like teenage talent (especially when you consider a highly probable De Ligt transfer down the line). Thinking in the long term is much more prominent than it used to be (not that it’s a bad or good thing, it’s just a  different mentality). Investment in young players is highly valued and at the moment, nothing is driving the point home quite like Joao Felix's 126 million euro move to Atletico Madrid. The transfer fee is the fourth highest ever paid and is Atletico Madrid’s most expensive transfer to date if the title didn’t give it away. 


The Numbers:



The 19 year old Portuguese player from Benfica really shook the stage in the 2018-19 season. Benfica ended their most recent season at the very top of the Portuguese league, and despite playing 21 matches in the league, the teenager’s effect was felt to the fullest. He racked up a staggering tally of 15 goals and 7 assists in those 21 matches. He proved to be ruthless in the attack with 2.6 shots per game and 1.1 key passes. Of course, there was his fantastic hat trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League which was certainly one of his highlights in the season. 


Skills and Talent:


He uses all the perks of being a teenager to full effect. Cheeky and fast, Felix uses those qualities and he couples them with his stamina to run around all over the pitch, roaming freely to get as many touches on the ball as possible, not being tethered to one single position. In a way, the definition of winger seems to be expanded in his dictionary and Benfica was all the better for it. Goes without saying that both his passing and crossing nothing short of world class as is evident from the assist tally. He can be creative and his technicality is very high, which is why he racked up so many goals and assists aside from the brilliant performance against Frankfurt in the 1st Leg of the UEL QF. Because of the myriad of skills under his arsenal, he can thus play a striker, winger, and an attacking midfielder and everything in between. Of course, he’s not perfect. Being somewhat skinny, he is far from the strongest player on the pitch and against an aggressive and strong defender, it would be a challenging endeavour, to say the least, and knowing that Sergio Ramos and Pique play in the La Liga, that is something he will have to work on. 


Factoring in at Atletico Madrid:


Atletico Madrid is one of the greatest defensive sides in the world. If there’s any team you want to hold on to a lead by trying to choke out the opposition’s attack, Atletico Madrid would be your best bet. Even their attackers like Antoine Griezmann often rush to the backline instead of staying up front to defend against threats, indicating how much Diego Simeone(ATM manager) values defence. But a lot of their big players either are or might be moving on to greener(or at least, other) pastures in the future. Diego Godin’s move to Inter Milan has been confirmed as is Rodri’s to Manchester City. That’s two of their key players, the former being an iconic ATM defender and one of the best in the world. Their forward, Griezmann is expected to move away for Barcelona and thus a lot of rebuilding is in order. That 4-4-2 formation will be finding some new players who will have to step up big time. 


Joao Felix would be a great fit despite being such an attack minded player. Because of his adaptability with basically all of the front line positions and a few midfield positions he can be a worthy replacement for Rodri and Griezmann if the potential is realized and Atletico is one of those clubs you rely on to convert potential to reality. You can see him linking up with Koke, Morata(if he stays) and everyone else up front during the attack because of how effectively and seamlessly he moves across the field. Most importantly, because of his stamina and speed, when the other team is on the attack, he will be able to fall back and provide assistance to the defence. Felix would be able to play through balls and crosses to players like Diego Costa or Morata to do damage, whether it be from central midfield or the wing looking at how strong he is in those positions. Because he is a tad attack oriented, it would allow Atletico to switch to a more attack based play ( with Diego Costa also) on the fly and catch the opponent by surprise. So a teenage player who has a lot of strengths is bound for a club that can improve strengths and weaknesses and over the recent years, has molded some of the best footballing talents in the world. A great fit for both team and player; a lot of interesting improvements are surely expected.


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