Joao Felix has had a fairly underwhelming stay in Spain so far. Having been signed for a whopping €126m from Benfica back in 2019, the 23-year-old has struggled to regularly provide goal scoring contributions during his time at Los Rojiblancos.
This may be due to his relationship with head coach Diego Simeone, which has been waning for some time now. The Argentine typically favours defensive ruggedness in his style of play, and Felix admitted that he and Simeone see things differently when it comes to football.
With their relationship worsening, Felix was sent out on loan to Premier League giants Chelsea during the January transfer window, and was replaced by Barcelona’s Memphis Depay. The Dutchman has struggled to adapt to his new club, while Felix has also had teething problems in England.
He was sent off on his Chelsea debut, and was subsequently suspended for their next three matches. He returned to action on Saturday against West Ham United, and scored his first goal for his new club.
Chelsea do not have a buy option in Felix’s loan deal, so he will return to Atleti in the summer. He admitted that his future is uncertain, and it’s presumed that he is unlikely to be willing to remain at Los Rojiblancos if Simeone remains in charge.
Luckily for Felix, he may have a way out, and it would be just over the city, as Fichajes have reported that he is an option for Real Madrid this summer. Los Blancos are likely to be in the market for a forward this summer, and Felix appears to be a consideration among club officials.
It would be interesting to see where Felix would fit in at Real Madrid, should be make the switch across the Spanish capital. He is unlikely to be first choice at striker ahead of Karim Benzema, but would be a very good understudy.
However, that position is unlikely to be attractive to Felix, and it remains to be seen whether he can operate as a loan striker in a 4-3-3 system. As a more deep-lying player, he could bring the two wingers into the game more, but may not have too much of an effect himself.
He played on the left wing for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but again, he is unlikely to dispossess Vinicius Jr of the starting position there. He could operate as a 10 in a 4-2-3-1, and Carlo Ancelotti has switched to that system at times, but it is unlikely to be a permanent tactic for Real Madrid.
With Atletico Madrid likely to demand well in excess of €100m for Felix, it is far too much for a player that would very likely be a squad player for Real Madrid. The Portuguese is better off seeking a move to a team that is more likely to play to his strengths, rather than shoehorn him into a system that doesn’t suit his qualities.
Image via PA