Joao Felix to snub Premier League move for Atletico Madrid?

The teenager has certainly caught the eye this season

Joao Felix is one of the hottest prospects in world football right now. The 19-year-old forward, who has just won the Primeira Liga title with Benfica, his being tracked by a host of top flight European sides, including both Manchester City and Manchester United.

Since the transfer window opened last month, speculation regarding the youngster's future has been rife, with it looking all but a certainty that he'd be playing his football in England next term. That is still a distinct possibility, though now it appears one more side have joined the race to capture the exciting attacker's signature.

La Liga titans Atletico Madrid have reportedly earmarked Felix as Antoine Griezmann's replacement, with the Frenchman confirming his departure from the Wandra Metropolitano to join either Barcelona or PSG next season. Felix would be the perfect replacement for Griezmann, he is a technically gifted young player with plenty of flair, but isn't the most physical of players so would perhaps suit the Spanish game more than the English one at this stage of his blossoming career.

Having scored 20 goals in 43 top-level appearances for Benfica last season, alongside a debut appearance for Portugal in their recent UEFA Nations League triumph, Felix now has plenty of experience under his belt and shows a maturity beyond his years on the pitch. He will go on to be a top player for many years, but who will be the team tasked in nurturing him?

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The 19-year-old has already made 43 top-level appearances for Benfica.

Atletico certainly have history in progressing young talent through the ranks, giving them plenty of game time so that they are able to enjoy successful careers at the very top level. Fernando Torres is the best example, the Spaniard made his debut for his beloved boyhood club aged just 17 - back when the club found themselves in the second-tier of Spanish football. By 19, 'El Nino' was captaining the team and making a name for himself by scoring 25 goals in one season for the Rojiblancos.

Torres went onto become a club legend at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, netting 109 in 321 appearances for Atletico, spent over two different spells between 2001-2018. He is arguably the biggest success to come out of the club throughout their 116 year existence, and a prime example of what can be achieved by a young professional footballer who is willing to work hard at the club.

Sergio Aguero is another player who benefitted massively from the faith shown in him by Atletico Madrid. After joining for an astonishing €20m fee aged just 17 in 2006, the Argentine became the club's most expensive signing. Despite a slow start - which saw the future Manchester City starlet find the net just six times in his first 38 games - Aguero firmly found his feet in Madrid, scoring 18 goals the following season as Atletico finished fourth in La Liga, outscoring Diego Forlan in the process.

aguero
Aguero made a name for himself at Atletico, Felix could do the same.

Atletico could have easily discarded Aguero and put his signing down to a misjudgment, but they didn't. They stuck with him, gave him a chance and look where his is now - arguably the best striker in the world. Joao Felix is wanted by both Manchester City and Manchester United, but do either of those clubs really offer a better alternative than Atletico Madrid?

At City he would become one of many and see game time extremely limited due to the vast amount of quality already present in the Sky Blues squad. At United, he is at risk of ruining his career and being dragged into the ongoing mess which presents itself so prominently at Old Trafford right now, not to mention the fact that the Red Devils aren't even in the Champions League next term.

Wherever Felix does end up next season - even if he remains put in Portugal for another campaign - there is no doubting that this exciting young prospect has a frighteningly promising future ahead of him. He now has a tough decision to make - one of which could change the dynamic of his entire career, no pressure.

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