Koke: Joao Felix has personality to cope with price tag

Atletico Madrid paid a nine-figure sum to sign Joao Felix, but Koke is not worried about the expectations placed upon the teenager.

Joao Felix dribbles at Bastian Schweinsteiger.   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid captain Koke is confident highly rated new signing Joao Felix has the character to handle his EUR 126 million price tag.

Already a full Portugal international, Joao Felix became the fourth most expensive player in history when he moved from Benfica to Atletico in July. The teenager hopes "to be like" compatriot and former La Liga star Cristiano Ronaldo, although Diego Simeone insists comparisons between the pair are shallow.

'Lot of quality'

Strong inner belief does seem to be one shared trait, though, with midfielder Koke a fan of the forward's attitude. "He has a lot of personality," Koke told El Pais. "It's not easy to be 19 and have the pressure of what has been paid for him.

"He enjoys playing football. He has a lot of quality, but what I like most is the mischief [he creates], the dribbling. He likes to have the ball; he is not afraid to ask for it. You have to give him some time. If he plays two bad games, you can't kill him."

 

Atletico fans might need patience with more than one player following the arrival of seven senior new signings during the close season. Among them are full-backs Kieran Trippier and Renan Lodi, who face a steep learning curve as they come to grips with Simeone's disciplined defensive structure.

"That is no problem because the coach will instil it," Koke said when asked about the attack-minded pair's aptitude at the back. "If you're good going forward, Cholo makes you good in defence."