As Diego Simeone continues to carve his name on Atletico Madrid’s history to become the most important coach in their history, the downside is of the trust between the club and coach steered Joao Felix to opt for a move in the winter transfer window. Atletico CEO Marin said on December 6 “I think he is a top world-class player, but because of the relationship with the coach, his playing time, his motivation... It’d be reasonable to analyse an option for him to depart if one arrives.” The full article from Marca can be viewed here.
It seems though that the relation between Felix and the club remains healthy considering the Portuguese rising star renewed his contract until 2027 before the loan move to Chelsea.
Felix was born to Carlos and Carla in Viseu, Portugal in 1999. He joined Porto’s youth academy until the age of 15. Then he joined Benfica to start his professional career with Benfica’s reserves. His biggest accomplishment was reaching the UEFA Youth Cup final, scoring a total of six goals in the tournament.
Two years later, Felix made the first Benfica team, appearing in 43 matches and scoring 20 goals to help his club win the Premeira Liga in his only season at the top level in Portugal. He attracted the eyes of several clubs, and in the summer of 2019, Atletico Madrid won his signature for a fee of €126 million. In his debut La Liga season, he scored six goals from 27 appearances.
In his second season, Felix suffered several injuries, but he was always trusted to play as part of the first XI for Atletico Madrid. The club won La Liga after seven years out, the youngster producing seven goals plus six assists from 31 appearances. His playing time decreased the following season to 24 La Liga matches, scoring only eight goals. Early this season, his relationship with Diego deteriorated to its worst, which made him bottom-choice forward after Matheus Cunha, Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa.
On the international level, Felix scored a total of six goals in 14 youth caps for Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 Portugal national teams. His debut on the senior level was in June 2019 in the UEFA Nations League. He has earned 28 caps since then, scoring four goals for his nation.
How Will Felix Fit in at Chelsea?
Joao Felix is a jack of all trades under the umbrella of attack. He can produce results from any attacking position. His initial position was attacking midfielder, but since his first and only year in Benfica’s first team, he has played in several others such as second striker, winger and poacher.
It is unclear where Felix should eventually fit given Chelsea’s injury list included 10 names on his debut against Fulham on the day after his arrival to London. Graham Potter had no choice but to start him as a second striker alongside Kai Havertz, but the new boy experienced the worst possible debut, being sent off with a straight red card after a horror tackle.
As of this writing, he has missed two matches of his mandatory 3-match ban, so he should become available again on February 11 for the cross-town trip to visit West Ham at London Stadium. A London derby — What could possibly go wrong?
FPL: At 23 in a new environment that is the best league in the world, Felix has no choice but to shine. His first and only 58 minutes so far did not produce any (positive) FPL points, and his £7.5 price tag is higher than several in-form starting forwards, so picking him up at his point is inadvisable.
Chelsea is still suffering an injury crisis, and the club is struggling for results. Maybe Joao can become the secret sauce to improve his new club’s form, but until that theory is demonstrated, he should not take a spot in your 15 man FPL squad.
In Fantrax, his potential as an enabler is much brighter. His abysmal debut naturally cratered his price to a mere $1, but his 58 minutes showed +10 phantom points of promise, and that was after the red card deduction.
So if you need cash and can liberate a precious forward slot, then Felix could free up the kind of cash that could pay retail for a point machine elsewhere. You might not have enough maneuvering room in NMA-11, but look again at NMA-17 where your 4th forward slot may just be twistable.
Felix was already a star in Atletico Madrid and trusted to always start for Portugal. Was this loan the right move for him? Was he a good pickup for Potter’s search of depth / temporary replacement for Sterling? Will he start in most matches, or will he be a depth option? Will he become an important fantasy option? Please log in and tell us what you think!