Monday, August 15, 2022

Simeone is killing Felix’s career. Or not?

Atlético have had problems with their strikers for several years now. Moreover, “mattress makers” spend a lot of money on them. In January 2018, they returned Diego Costa, paying Chelsea 60 million euros for him. As a result, the footballer scored only 12 goals in 3 seasons. In January 2019, the red-whites first rented and then bought Alvaro Morata from the same Chelsea. In general, the transfer of the player cost Madrid 53 million euros.

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Morata was doing better at Atlético than Costa. But the Spaniard did not suit Diego Simeone, so for the second season he has been at Juventus on loan. With Luis Suarez “mattress” guessed right. Last season in La Liga, the Uruguayan scored 21 goals, became their top scorer and helped them win the league title. But before that there was also João Felix’s transfer from Benfica. This transfer could be the most disastrous in the history of the Madrid club.

The Spanish media were initially wary of Felix’s transfer. In the 2018/19 campaign, the footballer scored 15 goals and provided 7 assists in the Portuguese Championship. Good performance, but this was the young striker’s first and last season with Benfica’s first team. The forward still has great potential, but perhaps he needed to strengthen a little more before moving to a top club. Plus the high price tag, of course, put pressure on the guy, although in the public plane he argued the opposite.

In the current season, Felix has struck 11 shots on goal, of which 5 – on target. This is the worst performance among all five Atlético strikers. Midfielders Yannick Carrasco and Tom Lemar, as well as Jose Jimenez, also threaten the Portuguese goal more. The latter is a central defender at all. It is noteworthy that even the forward Mateus Cunha, who spends on the field an average of only 26 minutes per match, performed more effective actions during the season than Felix. A footballer has good performances, but lacks the stability, which Simeone has publicly stated.

Felix’s action figures are dropping even compared to last season, which he didn’t do well. For example, in the last campaign, the forward’s passing accuracy rate was 84%, and now it is 76.4%. Felix, as a whole, began to pass less. Previously, he averaged 21.5 assists per game, and now gives 17.4 per game. This is an important point, as Simeone periodically employs a footballer in the position of a winger or a drawn striker. It turns out that the Portuguese is not very good at the forefront of the attack, and it has become worse to interact with partners.

Simeone laments Felix’s inconsistency. The Argentine can be rebuked by claiming that stability and experience comes from matches. But the Portuguese gets his minutes. The problem is that during this time it does not stand out in any way. It is unlikely that Simeone specifically keeps a player on the bench for whom more than a hundred million has been paid. If a footballer does not enter the field with the starting lineup, it means that he does not deserve this and loses the competition to his teammates. Simeone monitors the player every day in training, and if he does not work well enough, the result is appropriate.

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