Have you ever seen anything as disrespectful as Joao Felix’s recent proclamation that it would be his dream to play for Barcelona?
Well, perhaps Ousmane Dembele going on strike at Dortmund before joining the Blaugranes is up there too, but for the 23-year-old Portuguese to effectively render his Atletico Madrid career over in such a manner speaks volumes about his character.
As does the fact that the Rojiblancos are desperate for him to leave.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that they paid Benfica over €100m for his services just four years ago.
Since then he’s also been loaned out to Chelsea of course, and has only started a total of 91 games between both clubs in all competitions during those four years, per WhoScored.
EXCLUSIVE — João Félix statement on his future: “I’d love to play for Barça”.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 18, 2023
◉ “Barcelona has always been my first choice and I’d love to join Barça”.
◉ “It was always my dream since I was a kid”.
◉ “If it happens, it will be a dream come true for me”. pic.twitter.com/3zg9BiCDgO
Not only has he been injury prone - having missed 272 days in the four years per transfermarkt - he’s also been inconsistent.
There’s no doubt that when he’s in the mood, Joao Felix is a special talent. The problem is he doesn’t often appear to be in the mood as just 38 goals in total since he moved to Atleti in 2019-20 would attest.
Barca might well have agreed to sign him before now and not been able to come up with the funds, but the deal smacks of an accord between Jorge Mendes and Joan Laporta to oil the wheels of future transfers. It simply makes no sense otherwise.
Xavi reportedly deciding that Joao Felix isn’t a priority signing is a no nonsense message to the powers that be from the coach.
Even if Ferran Torres, for example, were to be traded for the player, where is the logic in so doing?
Ferran hasn’t hit the heights it’s true and if he were to be sold it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise.
However, the Spaniard would have to be replaced by a better exponent and Joao Felix hasn’t proved to be that.
He still has the cachet attached to his name, somehow, but that’s about it, and if Josep Maria Bartomeu were still in charge it would be exactly the sort of signing I would expect from him.
Laporta potentially going down the same road is a dangerous game to be playing when it’s obvious to anyone with a passing interest that, particularly at this point in time, Joao Felix just isn’t the right fit for the club.