Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has backed Portugues Joao Felix to thrive at the club despite a difficult start.
A lot was expected from the youngster after he was roped in to replace Antoinne Griezmann who moved to FC Barcelona but that has not been the same.
Ahead of their Champions League tie against Chelsea, Simeone revealed that the player was “the talk of our team” and will hand him a start with the Spaniards trailing the Blues 1-0.
“Joao, as we have always mentioned, is a really important player. Joao is going to play from the beginning. He has had a really high-quality start to the season. He is the talk of our team and we need this player.
“All footballers have different stages throughout their professional career, especially when they are young, where they dip. But as you heard from him there is nothing more needed from his personality. Ahead of the Champions League and LaLiga matches, we have to ensure that as a 21-year-old that he has that will that he needs to have to reach the point where he needs to be,” Simeone said on Tuesday.
His sentiments come days after the Portuguese toasted his goal in Atletico’s 2-0 win over Villareal by putting his finger to his lips and shouting in Simeone’s direction.