Atlético

João Félix would be a better player had he joined Real Madrid, rather than Atlético

Carlos Carvalhal does not think João Félix's style is suited to Atlético Madrid and thinks his development would have come on if he had joined Real Madrid.

Joao Felix would 'be at a higher level' if he joined Real Madrid instead of Atletico

João Félix would be a little further up his own learning curve had he decided to join a club like Real Madrid instead of Atlético Madrid, says Portuguese coach Carlos CarvalhalAtlético forked out €126million to sign João Félix from Benfica just before Antoine Griezmann's departure for LaLiga rivals Barcelona last year.

Injury problems under Simeone

However, the 20-year-old has produced little to justify that price tag. He has contributed just six goals and three assists in 28 appearances, with ankle and hamstring injuries keeping him out of the side for several separate short spells.

Carvalhal, coach at Primeira Liga side Rio Ave, does not think the style of football played by Diego Simeone suits João Félix. He believes a move to their  city rivals Real Madrid would have put João Félix in a better position to develop his game.

"João Félix is a great player and I don't want to create controversy with my statements. He is a player with incredible technical ability, with a great level. But I'm not sure Atlético's way of playing is the best for him," Carvalhal told Cadena SER. "That was my doubt when he signed for them. Diego Simeone is a great coach, his teams are very strong, very competitive, but João Félix does not seem to be the perfect player to be there. In a different situation we would see a great João Félix. It will be a little difficult and it will take time more time. He will have to transform as a player. If he had gone to a team like Real Madrid, he would be at a higher level. The context would be more favourable for him. It's not a criticism of Simeone, there is no doubt about what he has achieved. The work speaks for itself, I just believe this marriage is not the best."

João Félix was suspended as Atlético returned from a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic with a 1-1 draw at Athletic Club on Sunday. He can make his first appearance since the competition resumed when Atleti take on Osasuna in Pamplona on Wednesday.