Joao Felix was signed by Atletico Madrid in 2019 for a club-record fee of €126 million. He was seen as one of the most promising young players in the world at the time, and his arrival was expected to help Atletico challenge for major trophies.
However, Felix has struggled to live up to expectations at Atletico. He has scored 20 goals in 89 appearances for the club, and his relationship with manager Diego Simeone is said to be strained.
In January 2023, Felix was loaned to Chelsea in an attempt to revive his career. However, he failed to make a significant impact at Stamford Bridge, scoring just four goals in 16 appearances.
With Felix’s return to Atletico, it was clear that he would not be given the No. 7 shirt again. This number is considered to be one of the most important at Atletico, and it was previously worn by club legends such as Luis Aragones and Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann returned to Atletico in 2022 after a two-year spell at Barcelona. He had previously worn the No. 7 shirt at Atletico, and he was always expected to reclaim it when he returned to the club.
The fact that Felix has been stripped of his No. 7 shirt is a clear indication that his future at Atletico is uncertain. It is also reported that Felix and Simeone do not want to work together again. This could mean that Felix will be sold this summer, or that he will be forced to play second fiddle to Griezmann.
It will be interesting to see how Felix’s situation develops in the coming months. He is still a talented player, but he needs to find a way to rediscover his form if he wants to be a success at Atletico.