Looking At The Portuguese Teen Sensation Catching Liverpool’s Eye

According to reports in Portugal (Correio da Manha). Liverpool have had a €70m bid turned down for Benfica teenager Joao Felix.

If The Reds have earmarked the nineteen year as a potential target then you can bet your bottom dollar that he’s a gifted individual and that they’ll probably go in again for the young talent.

So why would Liverpool and other top European clubs chase Felix’s signature? 

Well Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has still to find a natural creative replacement for Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho. It’s thought that the German would like another exciting attacking star to add more competition within his squad.

Portugal has a rich history of producing world class attacking talent; Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Ricardo Quaresma, Sergio Conceicao, Nani and Rui Costa instantly spring to mind.

A quick look at current Premier League sides will show you that the Euro 2016 champions still produce strong creative players with Bernardo Silva, Ruben Neves, Andre Gomes and Jota all impressing this season.

Benfica are a club that are well known for bringing through exciting prospects.

It’s thought that Joao Felix could be his country’s next big thing.

In his ten Primeira Liga (five starts/five from bench) appearances this term, the teen has scored four times and created an assist.

Long-term Felix is thought to be seen as a number ten maestro type, pulling the strings behind the strikers. But the youngster can play anywhere in the forward areas, he’s been used centrally and on the left wing this season. His style on the ball reminds me of a young Kaka or Rui Costa.

Joao comes alive when he’s got the ball at his feet, he’s got great technique and his first touch is often immaculate. He is composed when in front of goal or when he’s under pressure from opponents, possesses the tricks needed to beat defenders and has the vision to pick out top class passes that set-up attacks.

His technique, ability to remain calm, his passing style and his nice build up play with others would stand him in good-stead if he were to join the Merseyside giants.

Veteran Benfica striker Jonas stated his belief that Joao can become a star as he possesses so much talent (via the International Champions Cup website):

“I don’t want to put pressure on the boy, but he is a player who can show his potential to not just the fans of Benfica, but to fans across Europe. He is a boy who has enormous quality and a calmness with the ball in the feet.”

A huge reason, apart from his wonderful raw ability, that would attract a world class manager like Klopp will be Felix’s age.

High level bosses often love working with younger talented players that have endless potential. Getting them in early means that the coach can mould them and get them used to the style that the coach likes to see his teams play in. The younger stars are often eager to learn and are more accepting of change. It also gives the manager a chance to spot any weaknesses in the young player and work on them, plus they can break any bad habits that they’ve picked up elsewhere.

Being just a teenager, Felix could come in and not demand regular starts. We all know that Klopp likes to bring in new signings and have them adapt by sitting on the bench and watching the starting eleven. It worked with Andy Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri. So you’d expect Jurgen to do the same if he’s lucky enough to bring in Joao Felix.

With Benfica already reportedly turning down €70m for the youngster, then it’s going to take a huge bid to get the player to any of the major sides.

But a big club like Liverpool will no doubt try and tempt the Portuguese giants with yet another huge bid sometime in the future. He’s certainly a player every elite club should be keeping an eye on!

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