19-year old Portuguese starlet João Félix has enjoyed a breakout campaign at Benfica, with Manchester City among several European giants looking to sign the £106 million-rated forward.
After scoring 20 goals and recording 11 assists in all competitions for the Portuguese champions, young phenom João Félix appears to be the subject of one of the summer’s biggest transfers, with clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Manchester City looking to secure the attacker in a potentially record-breaking deal.
Should he decide to move to the blue half of Manchester, earning a regular spot in Pep Guardiola’s electric attack will not be a simple task. Félix is a versatile forward who has played as a secondary striker throughout much of the campaign with the freedom to roam in the attacking third in a 4-4-1-1 setup, although he as also been deployed out wide.
In terms of skillset and ability, the Portuguese playmaker has been compared to Kaká, Rui Costa, and even former City star Samir Nasri, while many view the teenager as the heir apparent to Cristiano Ronaldo within the national team setup.
Although he could play in both the number eight and winger role under Guardiola at City, his ability to create opportunities for teammates through his positioning in the channels and his knack for picking out forward-thinking passes behind defensive lines means his talents would be best used in the center of attack. Therefore, Félix would serve as an heir to 34-year old David Silva rather than a replacement in a potential Leroy Sané transfer.
While the teenager is undoubtedly a spectacular talent, his arrival in the team would likely push Bernardo Silva back to the right-hand flank and partner Félix with Kevin de Bruyne in midfield. While Silva has succeeded on the right, he was absolutely immense in the middle of the park during De Bruyne’s injury absence this season, picking up Manchester City’s Player of the Season award for his creative performances. Therefore, the teenager’s arrival could further complicate an already-difficult selection conundrum in attack, especially when Sané and Riyad Mahrez come into play.
Félix is a player with sky-high potential, and Guardiola could be just the man to unlock and maximize his immense talent. After Portugal’s 3-1 victory over Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals, Félix spoke regarding his future.
“Now I’m focused on the national team,” Félix said. “After finishing the Nations League, I’m going to resolve my life.”
With transfer rumors beginning to heat up as the summer continues, the Portuguese teenager looks poised to be at the heart of a busy window for several clubs around Europe. Without a clear decision made on his future until after Sunday’s final, one can only speculate on his role and success at his next club.
Given his incredible intelligence, positional awareness, and ability to play driving forward passes and finish chances, Félix could be an absolute superstar at City should he decide to move to the Etihad this summer. Although the fit may not be ideal, the talent is undeniable, and if anyone has the ability to effectively orchestrate a large ensemble of attacking talent, it’s Guardiola.