One reason why £108m Liverpool transfer reports appear wide of the mark
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One reason why £108m Liverpool transfer reports appear wide of the mark

Reports in Spain believe Liverpool have eyes on a transfer for Joao Felix. We think that one is likely wide of the mark, however.

Both AS and Cadena SER reported last week that Joao Felix could leave Atletico Madrid in January. Now, it’s not entirely clear who carries the firm report here – they both quote one another.

But the suggestion from AS, in particular, is that Liverpool are one of four sides hoping to sign Felix. Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United join them in that, with the latter putting in the biggest offer (that’ll take some getting used to).

On the face of it, you can understand why Liverpool would want Felix. He’s an incredibly talented 22-year-old who boasts some significant experience for a player his age.

Yet, we don’t think this one will happen for one clear reason.

Liverpool unlikely to make Joao Felix transfer

For starters, Atletico paid £108m to sign Felix in 2019. They’re not going to let him go cheap and while we don’t think they could ask for that kind of return, we’re still looking at £60m+ at the very least.

You definitely get a lot of talent for that but we’re not sure Liverpool would get the right player for them. That’s purely because of Felix’s pressing.

Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

The Portugal forward has only played the equivalent of 4.5 90s this season, per FBref, and he’s only averaging 4.22 presses per 90 across that. That’s a tiny figure – Antoine Griezmann, for instance, averages 18 per 90. In fact, Felix averages fewer presses than 34-year-old Luis Suarez.

You can point to his low minutes and small sample size, to be fair. But Felix only averages 10 presses per game across his last two full seasons. It’s not really a number that would impress Liverpool and we can’t imagine they’d pay a large few out of hope they can change him.

If they’re paying record fees, they’d want a finished article, surely. Liverpool will surely look for a pressing player when it comes to replacing their current stars – and Felix just isn’t really that.

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