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16-Jun-2020, 08:26 pm

Joao Felix would 'be at a higher level' if he joined Real Madrid instead of Atletico

Joao Felix, Atletico Madrid

Joao Felix would be "at a higher level" if he had joined Real Madrid instead of Atletico Madrid, claims Carlos Carvalhal.

Atletico shelled out €126 million (£122m/$142m) to sign Felix from Benfica ahead of Antoine Griezmann's departure for La Liga rivals Barcelona last year.

However, the 20-year-old has only contributed six goals and three assists in 28 appearances, with ankle and hamstring injuries sidelining him for separate short spells.

Carvalhal, who is the head coach at Primeira Liga side Rio Ave, does not thinkthe style of football played under Diego Simeone suits Felix.

He believes a move to their arch-rivals Real Madrid would have put a fellow Portuguesein a better position to develophis game.

"Joao Felix is​​a great player and I don't want to create controversy with my statements.He is a player with incredible technical ability, with a great level.But I'm not sure Atletico's way of playing is the best for him," Carvalhal said on Cadena SER.

"That was my doubt when he signed for them.Diego Simeone is a great coach, his teams are very strong, very competitive, but Joao Felix does not seem to be the perfect player to be there.

"In a different situation, we would see a great Joao Felix.It will be a little difficult and it will take time more time.He will have to transform as a player.

"If he had gone to a team like Real Madrid, he would be at a higher level.The context would be more favourable for him.

"It's not a criticism of Simeone, there is no doubt about what he has achieved. The work speaks for itself, I just believe this marriage is not the best."

Felix was suspended as Atletico returned from a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic with a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

He is, however, in line to make hisfirst appearance since the stoppage when Simeone's men take on Osasuna in Pamplona on Wednesday.

Atletico are sitting sixth in the La Liga standings at the moment, a point behind Real Sociedad in the race for a top-four finish and 15 behind leaders Barcelona, with ten fixtures remaining.

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