Should Arsenal re-ignite their interest in Joao Felix?
I originally wrote much of this blog in the January transfer window.
Arsenal were linked heavily with a 6 month loan move for Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix. He ended up at Chelsea.
Felix’s Chelsea career go off to the worst start possible – sent off after just 58 minutes on debut. Up to that point he was easily the best player on the pitch v Fulham.
He would be suspensed for the next 3 Premier League games, before returning against West Ham and grabbing his first goal.
The Portuguese midfielder would end up with 4 league goals and 0 assists from 16 games.
He would start just once in the final 8 league games of his loan spell Frank Lampard. And only complete 90 minutes on 3 occassions.
Felix performed poorly in a Chelsea team that was performing poorly, managed by one of the worst managers the Premier League has ever seen. Chelsea decided not to make the loan deal permanent.
Having missed out on Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk in January, Arsenl recruited Leandro Trossard.
Trossard has turned out to be a solid acqusition. But the door is still open for us to make a “mega” attacking signing this summer. Could Felix still be on the target list?
Joao Felix is still just 23-years-old, and he should not be judged on his team at Chelsea. Lampard would have made Thierry Henry look like Yaya Sanogo.
His loan deal at Chelsea still would have given Arsenal some fantastic scouting data when considering whether to move for him this summer.
He showed glimpses of his natural talent whilst playing for Chelsea, and he would certainly tick that box of being able to play out wide and up top. Both Edu and Mikel Arteta are known to highly rate the Portuguese attacker.
Felix’s career has not quite ignited since his €126million move to Atletico Madrid.
This shouldn’t be a surprise considering the free flowing attacker joined the most defensive team the world has ever seen.
Persistent injuries and the return of Antoine Griezmann – who he was signed to replace.
The Portuguese attacked has the technical ability and work rate to play in Arteta’s Arsenal. And you would like to think that Arteta and his coaching team’s renowned one-to-one training will help him reach his potential.
Felix has been around a long time, and some fans are already writing him off. This is crazy when you compare it to the hype Rafael Leao gets as one of Europe’s best young attacking talents. Felix is younger than his Portuguese team mate.
There will be some questioning how Felix would fit in at Arsenal. That should not be a question.
It would give us the option of Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Trossard, Eddie Nketiah and Felix as the primary options in the front 3 positions. 2 players for every position.
I have excluded Emile Smith Rowe as I imagine if we bring someone like Felix in, he will be sold.
His recruitment would allow Arteta to rest and rotate his front 3, and give us more options on the bench.
The issue with Felix has always been Atletico’s huge asking price.
In January, Atletico were been demanding a €15million loan fee for the 4-5 month period, and for loaning club to pay his full wages for the period. This would have taken the deal to over €21million. A huge outlay for a few months work.
Arsenal decided not to go for the deal whilst Chelsea jumped at the chance. Felix’s red against Fulham increased the “cost per game” for Chelsea.
Before loaning Felix to Chelsea, Atletico extended his deal to 2027, inserting a €350million. Of course, we will not be spending anywhere near this amount on him.
Transfermarkt currently value Felix at €50.00m (£43m), and you feel this would be the figure that would interest Arsenal.
But that would see Atletico make a €76m loss on him.
My gut is Atletico would want to get a lot closer to €100m. A fee that no one would agree to considering his stagnation over the last 24 months.
With 4-years left on his deal, Felix could become one of these “fore hire” players, spending 2-3 years out on loan. Each loan coming with a €15m loan fee. Atletico then recoup must of their expenditure through those fees (note: €15m a year is the amortised yearly equivalent of signing a €75m player).
In the not to distant future, when Felix either has 1 or 2 years left on his deal, Atletico then cash in. Sell him for the €50m he is currently value at – with those loan fees being added to their final income for him.
Would I take Felix on loan for a year for €15m? Probably not. But if we could get him at €50m transfer fee, then we should have a conversation.
If the maths work out, we could end up recruiting Trossard and Felix for the total potential price Chelsea are paying for Mudryk.
Do not write this one off.