By James Miller – @JamesMillernews
Teenage sensation João Félix done nothing but enhance his ever-growing reputation as one of the best young footballers in the world of late.
This week marked the return of European football, one game in particular that caught the eye was the Europa League tie between SL Benfica and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Being realistic, going into the games it weren’t exactly the most glamorous of ties – especially when you consider the fact that the game was overshadowed by the Manchester United vs Barcelona tie. However, this game in particular caught the attention of fans worldwide, not because of the magnitude of the clash but in actual fact because of one man – João Félix.
At just 19 years, 152 days old Félix became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick in the Europa League – his ever for Benfica, also.
In recent months, the youngster has been linked with a move to Merseyside to join Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield revolution. It has been reported that Liverpool have already seen a bid for the starlet turned down but what would the Portugal international offer at Liverpool?
So far this season in the league alone Felix has had a hand in 14 goals, scoring ten – including a vital goal against Benfica’s closest title challengers Porto – and assisting a further four in just 20 appearances. Félix is a player that can heavily influence the game in the opponents final third.
One of the youngster’s biggest assets at such a ripe age is his incredible awareness and a telepathic ability to read game situations as they play out. Add to that though his ability to drift away from markers off the ball and he really starts to become a handful.
Naturally, Félix is an attacking midfield player who can operate on the left-hand side if needs be. Although, what has been seen this season and in the game against Frankfurt, he can play as a striker too, though he has featured quite regularly on the left side of a front two as of late.
At the moment Roberto Firmino is the spearhead of Klopp’s attack, so the chances of Felix breaking into the Liverpool first team as a striker may be slim. It might be more likely he that he is deployed as an attacking midfielder should he join the Reds.
It could well be a transition that pays dividends, though, because although he is currently in a more advanced role, he does prefer the type midfield role Liverpool might be after.
He possesses great ability on and off the ball, but his passing range is of a very high standard already. He is the type of player top teams beg for, he can control the game just with his passing. Something to watch with Félix too is that he really enjoys working his way across the field, switching the play from small pockets of space into wide areas to allow his side to utilise the space.
However, the signing of the Portuguese would not come cheap. Having been linked to most of Europe’s elite clubs, prices quoted have reached upwards of £60 million – and whilst Liverpool certainly have the money, it’s more of a question as to whether to risk that much on a raw talent. The rewards of such a substantial outlay, however, could be huge should he fulfill his potential.
With next season already looming large, Liverpool have an opportunity to build on an already strong campaign that has seen them push Manchester City all the way in the league. Whether the Reds come away with any silverware is another matter, yet regardless, there will always be room for improvement whatever the outcome of the season.
Would you like to see João Félix join Liverpool this summer? Let us know!