Joao Felix’s costly red card
Fulham manager Marco Silva is sure that Joao Felix will “learn from” the red card he received against them. Let’s hope so - that red card cost them £2.1M.
Chelsea’s new sign Joao Felix, who joined the club on Wednesday on a six-month, £9 million loan from Atlético Madrid, made his debut against Fulham in the west London derby on Thursday, which they lost 2-1. Despite the loss, Felix shone in his debut - that is, until he was sent off with a red card.
Why was Joao Felix given the red card?
Despite playing impressively in the first half, Felix’s debut was overshadowed when he lunged on Fulham defender Kenny Tete. Felix was sent off with a red card for violent conduct, ending his debut in disastrous fashion and cutting his 21-game loan to an 18-game loan for Chelsea, as he will miss the next three games against Liverpool, Fulham, and West Ham.
“We lost Denis [Zakaria] beforehand as well and we’re just adjusting with Jorginho,” said Chelsea coach Graham Potter after the match. “And then Joao [Felix], who was having a fantastic impact on the game, and you could see his quality, to lose him and to lose him for three matches is really disappointing.”
I’ll say. Not only is it disappointing, but it’s also expensive. The £9 million loan, plus £6 million Chelsea is paying for Felix’s wages, was for 21 games. That’s £714,286 per game. Missing three games means Chelsea loses around £2,142,858.
Felix is indeed a young player, which Potter pointed out after the match, saying that he didn’t feel the tackle was “an emotional one” and that he did not intend to hurt anyone. Both Potter and Fulham coach Marco Silva believe that Felix will learn from the mistake.
“He had that moment, bad reception, he tried to challenge,” said Silva. “That moment was an unlucky moment for him. He will learn from that moment as well. But I think his first 60 minutes at Chelsea shows his quality.”
Losing to their west London rivals Fulham puts Chelsea in 10th place in the Premier League, still 10 points away from the top four, with one game up on fourth-place Manchester United.