The highly-talented Joao Felix’s market value could skyrocket up to €378m in a year’s time, says his new Atletico Madrid team-mate Felipe.
Felix completed a stunning €126m transfer from Benfica to Atletico earlier this month despite interest from Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United.
But Atletico’s determination to sign the Portugal international, who is dubbed as the “new Ronaldo”, was so strong that they even forked out a further €6m than what was required to activate his Benfica buy-out clause.
Diego Simeone’s side have since handed Felix the No.7 jersey, which was previously worn by Antoine Griezmann prior to completing his Barcelona move. Therefore, the youngster is likely a direct replacement for the French World Cup winner.
At 19, though, some have questioned the wisdom behind Atletico’s decision to spend such a huge sum on Felix.
Although fellow new recruit Felipe, who played against Felix in Portugal last season for Benfica’s title rivals FC Porto, backed the teenager to thrive at the Wanda Metropolitano.
“He’s a great player,” Felipe told Marca on Felix.
“In Portugal, he was very advanced for his age.
“He’s very intelligent, fast, his movement is very good and he is now on my team. I will be able to help [him settle and adapt in Spain].
“In Portugal, he was my rival and I had to fight against him. It was difficult because he has a lot of quality. He’s a kid that still has a lot to grow and he will give much joy to the Atletico fans.
“We have to be calm, but Joao Felix will probably double or treble his value in a year’s time.”
Atletico signed Felipe this month, as well, in a €20m deal from Porto. They’ve also completed deals for Marcos Llorente, Renan Lodi, Ivan Saponjic, Hector Herrera and Nicolas Ibañez.