Important for Atletico Madrid to handle Joao Felix carefully
- Joao Felix should be handled with care at Atletico by Simeone
At 20, João Félix Sequeira is one of La Liga’s most promising youngsters. After enjoying a fruitful season (2018-19) with Benfica, the teenager was roped in by Atlético Madrid in 2019 in order to bolster their forward line. Atlético, who finished second in La Liga last year, wanted a long-term prospect to lead the club’s attacking line, and this lad from Portugal came into the side as a breath of fresh air.
He grabbed a lot of eyeballs during his time with Benfica. With 15 goals in 26 matches during the 2018-19 season, Félix ended up as the Portuguese League’s joint fourth-highest goal scorer along with SC Braga’s Dyego Sousa. He was bestowed with the prestigious 'Golden Boy' award in November last year - the award that seeks to recognise the most promising youngster in the world of football.
The pundits have lauded the 20-year-old for his ability to score goals under pressure. Also, his control over the ball is phenomenal. He can trick just about any defender in the world when he is on song. The good thing about him is, he’s young and brimming with energy. He seems to have learnt a lot during his time with Benfica.
Well, things are quite different at Atlético Madrid. At Benfica, there wasn’t much pressure, but Atlético Madrid is a much bigger club. Therefore, the expectations from João Félix will be immense. The lads from Wanda Metropolitano have been in good form and they are currently third in the standings (35 points off 20 games).Their recent victory against heavyweights Barcelona in the semi-final of Supercopa de Espana was greeted with great pomp and show.
We are halfway into the 2019-20 La Liga season, and in 15 appearances for the club this season, the 20-year-old has found the net just twice. Well, you cannot expect a 20-something lad to go all guns blazing against the oppositions right from the word go. He needs time to get going, all of us need time when we are young, don't we?
Speed and strength
João Félix is a genuinely talented lad who can destroy the oppositions’ defence lines within seconds. Also, his speed and strength cannot be taken for granted. No matter how good the opposition’s defence lines are, Félix will score if he is in top form. He is an able dribbler and can pass the ball with precision. Not to forget, he is an indomitable force when he counters.
Also, he is an aggressive player. Aggression is something that comes naturally to him. He is someone who can create scoring opportunities with a few deft touches. While his goal tally might not be impressive, but Félix's game doesn’t revolve around numbers and stats. He believes in creating an everlasting impact. Fans, enthusiasts and supporters have witnessed bite-sized glimpses of his on-field brilliance this season, but the job is far from over and he needs to step up and score.
What does he need at Atlético?
He needs to get along with the experienced pros in the side. The likes of Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata are seasoned campaigners. While Morata and Diego Costa should be tasked to score goals, Félix should be set free to use his creativity. Let him express himself. The more he plays, the more he’ll get to learn. The management needs to be a bit patient. He needs time to adapt to the rigours and vigours of Spanish football. Things will get better with time.Published 20 Jan 2020, 10:39 IST