João Félix will mark exactly one month at Chelsea when we kick off against West Ham United on Saturday, and despite a rather inauspicious start to his time at the club, it’s been a pretty good first month for him personally.
He’s fit in immediately, welcomed by teammates familiar and new, and a coaching staff for whom he has nothing but praise — perhaps an even more important factor in this case since it was the breakdown of his personal relationship with Atlético Madrid head coach Diego Simeone that prompted his loan move away from Madrid this winter.
“I have already integrated since I arrived. I knew some colleagues and that has made it easier. [...] There are several Spanish players in the dressing room: Azpilicueta, Kepa and Cucurella. [They] were the first ones I started talking to because they are Spanish, because I have played in Spain [...] and they are all very good boys.”
“[Graham Potter] one of the first days called me into his office. We were talking about his game idea, the game idea he had thought of for me. He explained to me how the team plays, what they do. I really liked that he interacted with me. He shows that he is a very good person and a great coach. He likes to have the ball, control the game and attack. Of course, also defend when it is necessary to defend, but he likes to take control of the game and attack. I like that.”
Félix made an immediate impact in his first appearance, which was of course soured greatly by his red card and Chelsea’s subsequently going on to lose the match. But that’s football for ya, and the 23-year-old isn’t too concerned about it. Certainly not the end of the world, as he puts it in this extensive interview with Diario AS.
He also claims to be not too concerned about his own future beyond this season, but with Chelsea not having a buy-option, he would either have to find a way to coexist with Simeone (barring a surprise exit for the coach) or hope that the two teams can agree some sort of further arrangement.
“There is no purchase option. Chelsea would have to reach an agreement with Atlético. I’ve only been here a few weeks, a month. I am still just learning everything. I am very comfortable, but the future nobody knows.”
“[Atléti CEO] Miguel Ángel Gil has always trusted me a lot, he has always broken his arm for me. I have a good relationship with him. I appreciate him letting me out now because I needed it, I wasn’t right anymore. Miguel has always believed in me and I think he still believes. He sees me as a hope for Atlético, but we’ll see…”
-João Félix; source: Diario AS via Google Translate
However long it may last, let us enjoy our time with João.