João Félix graduates from the school of Cholo, now it's time for results
Four goals in half a season is not the return you expect from a mega transfer but the Portuguese has soaked up all of Simeone's wisdom and is set for a big year.
Joao Felix was Atlético Madrid big signing last summer. The club paid €127 million for his services as the footballing world fixed their gaze on Madrid in awe at the youngster's potential and with skepticism as to where he might fit into Simeone's plans.
The first half of the league has come and gone along with the group stages of the Champions League with the Portuguese playing a key role for Atlético in both despite an ankle injury that sidelined him for a couple of months.
In Portugal, they questioned whether it was the right move for the attacker and they suggested Atlético's style would drain his creativity. He has devoured every bit of information Cholo has delivered to him and his compromise is total at Atlético. We will see in the second half of the year if he can become the best version of himself after months of adaptaion. It is also necessary to remind people of Griezmann's first couple of months at the club as he went unnoticed due to a lack of playing time. He was regularly substituted too as he adapted to the physical requirements of playing under Simeone.
He has played 15 games so far in the league with two goals and one assist. He has also played another four in the Champions League with two goals. Four goals and one assist doesn't seem like a lot for a player who cost over €100 million.
"We are on the path we expected," said Simeone about Felix' adaptation. "I don't know if anyone imagined any other scenario."
The former Benfica star started playing on the wing but Cholo has started to play him as the number 10 and closer to goal. The injury to Diego Costa left a hole up front beside Morata and this position has been turned into Felix'. Against Granada, Simeone told him to play on the wing but it was the player who pushed forward. Many have suggested, however, that he doesn't look comfortable on the field or is the same chirpy footballer that played for Benfica.
With six months at 'Simeone's military academy' under his belt, signs of growth should be forthcoming. He already know that applying pressure is important in order to help the defensive system and at Atlético, it's the collective has always been more important than the individual. That doesn't mean, however, that Felix' inner sanctum are happy with how he has played to start the season. They know he is capable of more. Simeone's staff know that adapting to his style takes time though. From the club, there is no talk about how to play Felix. They know that Simeone knows best how to manage the player. There is also an acceptance that his signing came as a significant investment and that the effort to sign him was huge.
Atlético spent a record €127 million on the player and he has absorved all of the Cholismo he could to this point. We will see if his time under Simeone will bear fruits in the coming months with some decisive games on the horizon.
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