Tactical Insights

There’s only one way that Joao Felix can stay at Barcelona

As we head towards the business end of the 2023/24 season, it’s imperative that each player in the Barcelona squad digs in and wrings every last drop of effort out of their performances.

The likelihood of the Blaugranes winning either La Liga or the Champions League is slim at present and most would say it’s just a pipe dream – but it’s not impossible that one or the other could be landed.

The odds are certainly better than when Barca faced a four-goal first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League seven years ago (is it really that long?!).

Xavi needs difference makers now.

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga EA Sports

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The players that are going to step up and raise their heads above the parapet. Players that will turn doubters into believers.

The tide is slowly turning already in that regard too given how well the team have played since Xavi effectively publicly handed in his resignation.

One player that culers could take or leave at this stage is Joao Felix, though as the Portuguese showed against Las Palmas, he has that certain something that can help win games.

It’s accepted that he might only show it in flashes, and it could also be argued that he’s nowhere close to the player that the Catalans hoped they were getting, however, he can – and has – come up trumps in some games this season when needed.

Maybe an impact sub will be his best-case scenario moving forward, with the odd start thrown in here and there for good measure.

If it’s a choice between that and the Saudi League though – as there appears to be no other interest elsewhere – then surely the player and his representatives will see the sense in staying put.

That said, any move has to be on Barcelona’s terms.

Terms that are likely to rest on whether another loan deal with Atletico Madrid would be acceptable. It’s the only way a deal can be done this summer.

Real Betis v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports

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Regardless of the fact that Barca would be unlikely to afford Joao Felix on a permanent deal in any event, he hasn’t been consistent enough to justify a permanent deal right now.

If he can add that consistency to his game and still be a match winner, then offering him more secure terms a year or so from now would be a no brainer.

Simply put, Barcelona are not in a position to take any sort of risks at the moment. A loan deal gives them a little financial headroom and also contractual freedom.

With contracts there to be earned rather than handed out like confetti, the ball would then be back in Atleti and the player’s court.

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