It is no exaggeration to say that Joao Felix’s red card pushed Chelsea deep in defeat against Fulham, but before that turning point, the Blues rookie really brought a lot of hope.
Chelsea‘s cost of using Felix for six months is £15 million plus full salary, is it too expensive for a short-term loan?
According to Fulham manager Marco Silva, “this is no ordinary loan”. The manager of Fulham has smelled danger from the new player who has set foot on the English grass for the first time and it is true.
Felix is the bright spot on Chelsea’s attack with less than an hour of presence. Graham Potter showed absolute faith in the Portuguese striker when using him immediately, without waiting for any further integration time. In response, Felix showed that he is not surprised by the high speed in the Premier League.
Placed in a preferred 2 striker system, Felix has plenty of space to move freely and receive a lot of the ball. With 40 touches, Felix shows the difference. He is the player with the most shots (6) and dribbles (4) on the field. Felix is not afraid, not worried, holding the ball is speeding, always aiming for the most direct solution.
That was really Potter’s wish when he brought Felix back. He needed such a player full of energy in attack, to replace the moodiness of Aubameyang or the indecisiveness of Kai Havertz.
Before Felix’s maneuver, the Fulham players received 2 yellow cards after only 14 minutes of rolling the ball. Chelsea fans immediately felt an interest in Felix.
“No one doubts Felix’s level,” former player Joe Cole shared during the break. “I think Felix will shine here, a real magician. Felix suits Potter’s style very well.”
However, while having fun, the strings broke. The ham ball in the 58th minute will make Felix miss 3 matches, respectively against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Fulham. Disappointment is inevitable, but all can feel the rookie’s enthusiasm in each phase.
This red card is a great lesson for Felix, but it will increase expectations for him even more. With what was shown in less than an hour of his Premier League debut, Felix was enough to make Chelsea fans miss.
After a string of disappointing results, it’s easy to criticize Felix for his impulsiveness. But the important thing in a crisis is always to calmly assess things, and of course, Felix is not, or at least not a disaster.