He’s 5ft 9in, vision comparable to Mesut Özil, and is still in his teens. I give you João Félix.
Everything, from his tricks and flicks to his ice-cool finishing, screams world class. Primarily an attacking midfielder but occasionally used as a number nine, Félix has 15 goals and 7 assists in Liga NOS this season, along with 3 goals in the Europa League where he has attracted interest from Manchester.
An exciting talent
Comparisons have been made to Rui Costa and Joao Pinto for the 19 year old, with his incredible technical ability making him a goal scoring and creative threat to any opposition’s defence.
2.6 shots per game highlights his ability to play as an out and out striker, whilst 1.1 key passes show his versatility to play on the wing as well as in attacking midfield.
But what separates Joao Felix from most young talents is his all round game and surprising defensive qualities. Props must be given to the Benfica coaching set-up. They know Félix has raw talent, a quality they haven’t seen for years, but they wanted more. Over the summer, they got him working on the defensive aspects of his game, ultimately culturing him into a prototype of the perfect midfielder. Aggressive tracking from the ten role earns him good tackling stats in the youth teams.
I could rant and rave about this Portuguese magician all day so let me try and tell you some of his weaknesses:
Left foot and Physicality – Room for improvement
First off, his left foot is weak. This isn’t a huge problem when your right is as good as it is, but the way he plays, adding a quality left boot to his repertoire would significantly improve his game. I’m sure he works on it.
Second, If he were to join either United for City, a slight issue could be adapting to the physicality of the Premier League. Weighing in at only 64kg, João Félix is at the extreme end of the scale and although he has the quality to ride challenges, there’s no doubt he would be targeted, similar to Jack Grealish at Aston Villa. It’s about whether he could handle it…
You may see the £120m+ price-tag slapped on the 19-year-old and think it’s an incredible risk to take, but this is one of the best players to emerge from any academy, never mind Benfica’s, for years. I’m excited for this transfer and you should be too…
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