Joao Felix signing for Chelsea and playing position. The search for an attacker who can genuinely score goals for Chelsea has gotten frantic. In their most recent effort to address their goal-scoring issues, the Blues have turned to Atletico Madrid’s wantaway, another player who is not particularly prolific and does not have a permanent position. This move is supported by their free-spending new ownership.
To sign the 23-year-old from Atleti, where he has flattered to disappoint since a sensational €127 million (£112m/$135m) deal from Benfica in 2019, Chelsea is set to fork over an €11 million (£9.7m) loan fee. Instead of solely scoring goals for Chelsea, the flexible Felix is hoped to be able to free up the team’s other struggling strikers.
Felix in the front: Felix can theoretically play this position because he has frequently been used as a striker in the front two at Atletico Madrid. He hasn’t exactly made a splash in this system, and while it’s vital to consider a player’s appropriateness in light of more than just the numbers while playing as a center-forward, just one metric matters.
Felix has only scored 25 goals in 96 games for Atleti. Also doubtful is his opportunity to participate in a two-man attack. To discover a successful formula, Chelsea head coach Graham Potter has frequently changed his formation. However, for the most part, he has requested one player to lead the line, with wingers on each side of the center-forward, or tucked in behind in a 3-4-2-1.
Felix’s famous position: In a 2017 interview with The Athletic, Felix stated: “Being the second forward is where I perform best. I’m a man in front of the No. 10 player, playing like one.” Although he scored from a second striker position in La Liga games immediately before and after Qatar 2022, this opinion may have altered since his spectacular World Cup performance, where his starting position was off the left.
Mason Mount, the manager’s favorite, would need to be moved for Felix to play as a no.10 in a 4-3-3, and that seems unlikely. Once Reece James is fit again, Potter switching back to a 3-5-2 formation with Felix in a free role behind Kai Havertz will become a more alluring option. That would have been a very tantalizing idea a few years ago, but Felix and Havertz, both 23 years old, have thus far fallen short of their almost limitless potential.
Felix playing left: Felix has played more on the left this season, both at the club and international levels than he has in the past. He has appeared to be at his best when playing the inverted winger position, particularly during the World Cup when he was able to drift out wide, gather the ball, and use his two-footedness to enter the play and influence it in the central areas, frequently leading to overloads for the opposing defense.
In those kinds of circumstances, he picked up two adorable assists in Qatar, and Potter will be hoping that he can similarly help his preferred central striker Havertz. For the Premier League team, his physicality throughout Portugal’s disastrous campaign will also be encouraging. When necessary, Felix is press-resistant, but when he has his man in his sights, he is also willing to accept a tough challenge—a trait he shares with his predecessor Eden Hazard.
Felix should have tough competition for a starting position, but in reality, given his current form, he would be a better option than Christian Pulisic or Hakim Ziyech, and Potter favors Mount in a deeper place. Raheem Sterling, if healthy, will likely play on the other wing, and he’ll most likely play a wide position.
For more football news and the latest updates, keep your eye on this space.