Joao Felix is Getting Better and Atletico Look Stronger This Year
Luis Suarez was set to hog the headlines in his first sportin opposition to his former membership, however, the Uruguay striker has been dominated out after contracting Covid-19 in the course of theworldwide break. Atletico, although, nonetheless has loadsextra attacking weapons to supplya significantcheck to Barca’s unreliable protection on Saturday (20:00 GMT), together withyoungerexpertisewho’stryingmore and moreable toresidingas much as his standingbecause of the third costliestswitch in historical past.
Dropping Suarez after his optimistic coronavirus check earlier this week is clearly a blow to Atletico as a result ofthe previous Barca frontman has made a robustbegin to live along with his new membership. After netting twice in 20 minutes on his debut, Suarez has continued to guidethe road in his traditional belligerent trend and is La Liga’s joint-second main scorer, along with his tally of 5objectives in 375 minutes giving him the very best goals-per-minute filewithin the league. Nevertheless, approaching the age of 34, Suarez is clearly solely a short-term measure and Atletico’s frustration at his unavailability on Saturday is tempered by the very factthey’llnonethelessname upon a fast-rising star who has the group‘s future at his ft: Joao Felix.
The Portugal ahead, who turned 21 final weeks, was solelyreasonablyprofitablethroughout his first season with Atletico in 2019-20, scoring 9objectives and by no meansshowingtotally to earn the belief of demanding supervisor Diego Simeone. Within the opening weeks of the brand newmarketing campaign, nevertheless, he has provenprecisely why Atletico forked out £113m to signal him from Benfica by delivering a collection of spectacular performances. Felix’s effortlessly elegant technical expertise has all the time been apparent, however,he’s now additionally getting himself extraconstantlyconcernedwithin themotion and offering a decisive closing product contained in thefield.
With seven objectives and two assists for Atletico, he has almost matched the final season’s output already, and he has additionally shone on the worldwide stage by netting his first senior objectives. Worldwide team-mate and Liverpool ahead Diogo Jota has mentioned he believes Felix can finallyturn into Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-term successor as the focus of Portugal’s assault, indicating the rising confidence that the younger star can fulfill his potential. Felix’s enhanced standing this season is mirroredwithin thereality his commonvariety of ball touches per sport has elevated from 40 to 57, and with eight objectives in his previous seven matches, this future famous person is in the very besttype of his profession.
One other key component of Atletico’s ahead line is the unlikely determine of a person whose profession has been completelyremodeled by an exhilaratingnight time at Anfield: Marcos Llorente. However,he’s now one among La Liga’s handiest forwards, lining up on the right-wing with the liberty to assault the field as typically as attainable.
Guardiola signed a two-year contract extension with Metropolis on Thursday and was instantly linked together with his ex-player, who got hereneartransferringfinalsummer season. Messi’s contract ends subsequentsummer season and he mightsignal pre-contract phrases with any membershipexterior Spain from 1 January. Guardiola mentioned: “Messi is a Barcelona participant. I mentioned it on a thousand occasions. As a fan, I need Leo to complete there.” Argentine playmaker Messi had seemed set to affixMetropolis after placing in a switch request in August, just for Barcelona’s then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu to dam the switch.
Bartomeu then resigned in October however Messi’s future staysunsure. Paris St-Germain has additionally been linked with the 33-year-old, howevereach candidate within the Barcelona presidential election – to be held in January – has mentionedit’s aprecedence for them to steer Messi to remain. “I’velarge gratitude for Barcelona and what they’vecompleted for me,” mentioned Guardiola, who labored with Messi when managing the membership between 2008 and 2012.
Proper now Messi is a Barcelona participant and the switch market is in June and July. Guardiola’s new deal will take him to 2023 and can see him full seven seasons on themembership, so long as he spent in control of Barcelona and Bayern Munich mixed. Regardless ofthe apparentcuriosity in him, the 49-year-old says he had no real interest intransferringanyplace else and would have stepped away from the sportonce more, as he did when he left Barcelona in 2012, had a settlement with Metropolis not been reached.” I did nottake into considerationanyplace else, simplyto remainright here,” he mentioned. If we had felt it was sufficient, I’d have taken a break. “Howevernow we havethe sensation we nonetheless have many issues to do collectively. We wish toproceed what now we havecompletedwithin theearlier seasons.”
Llorente has registered eight objectivesand 6 assists in 23 outings since Anfield and, within the 4-Zero win over Cadiz earlier than the worldwide break, he grew to becomesolely the second participant – after Lionel Messi – to fileeach a purpose and help in 4completely differentvideo games this yr. His particular person transformation from a defensive midfielder into an all-action ahead is a neat metaphor for a wider technique of change at Atletico as a result of, after years of accusations that he’s too unfavorable, Simeone now appears intent on creating a much more attack-minded group. Atletico is the second-highest scorers in La Liga with 17 objectives in seven video games, and their common of 4.86 photographson track per sport is second solely to Barcelona.
Simeone has a variety of choices at his disposal and is actually not solely counting on Suarez for goalscoring. Suarez’s seeminglyalternative this weekend is dynamic and versatile Argentine Angel Correa, whose 4 assists is the joint highest in La Liga, whereas Costa can also beanticipated to be accessible after lacking the previous month with hamstring damage. Felix and Llorente, although, would be theprincipalmales. And sustaining their robustbeginning by claiming a commanding victory over Barca could bethe bestsolution toshow that Atletico’s new modelmayresult inniceissues.
Jason is 28-year-old father, husband, and tech enthusiast. Jason covers everything from Geek news to tech world news. In he spare time, if he isn’t asleep, you can find him binge-watching his favorite podcast. Email:[email protected]