Joao Félix and Cholo Simeone's 'poor-man' speech
Atleti have broken the bank shelling out 127 million euro for a promising striker, albeit one who has just had a single successful campaign with Benfica in the Portuguese league. There is an element of a gamble in this acquisition but his arrival at the club should dispel any lingering nostalgia that may exist among the fan-base with the departure of Antoine Griezmann. Indeed the teenager was even presented with the No. 7 shirt for the season ahead, yet another gesture by the club in papering over the imminent departure of the French striker, who by the way, is still somewhat in limbo with question marks over his future hanging in the air as Barcelona contemplate a Neymar return to Camp Nou, which I still believe is a long shot.
The sum of money paid for Joao Felix puts the recent outlays by Florentino Perez into the shade with the Real Madrid president now firmly focused on overhauling the squad and leaving enough money aside for the remodelling of the stadium. Taking 'add-on's' into account in the Coutinho and Dembélé Barça signings, the 127 million euro paid for the forward makes the striker the third most expensive player in history behind the €222 million PSG paid for Neymar and 180 million for Mbappé and the Portuguese forward is now the most expensive player in Spanish football history. There is still time for Florentino to make a push for Pogba and Bartomeu may finally drive for a Neymar return but as things stand Felix tops the pile.
This big outlay certainly makes Simeone's recent comments redundant when the Argentine coach lamented that "our young players are being taken away” (alluding to Theo Hernandez), but this failed to stop Atletico from shelling out 70 million euro on Lemar and 37 on Vitolo, with neither player yet to deliver a consistent series of performances in a red and white shirt. With recent financial outlays on players, Cholo can no longer play the role of the 'hard-done by coach' at a 'humble little club'. Atletico Madrid are now one of Europe's top richest football clubs and have been managed astutely in recent times, and for this they should be congratulated.
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