Since the hit in Cornellà, João Félix has added three consecutive substitutions for a total of five in the last eight games in which he has been available. The cupbearer duel came out with a noticeable swelling on the instep of his right foot. The bruise was located in an area close to the bone edema of the ankle that gave the Portuguese so many problems at the end of last season. The mishap could make one think that the Portuguese’s triple consecutive bench ration not only responded to the good moment of Lemar and Correa, but to an attempt to avoid a relapse of an injury of complex recovery, because it was painful and because the treatment times were not continuous.
From what Simeone said this Saturday in the preview of the match that faces Atlético this Sunday at the Metroplitano, LaLiga leader, with Valencia (Movistar, 21. 30), the swelling of Cornellá in the vicinity of the aforementioned bone edema that he suffered last year he had nothing to do with his decision to leave João Félix out for three consecutive games. “In Cornellá he had a stomp on his foot, the ankle was anteriorly, but later he had nothing. The next game, which we did not play against Bilbao, he had the stomp and in the next, against Sevilla, Correa played ”. After this explanation, Simeone admitted that he considered that the good moment of Lemar and Correa had caused the substitutions of the Portuguese. “We are playing what best suits the team, we always believe that footballers have names and, obviously, looking for which ones are useful for the game we have to play we are looking for their characteristics to strengthen the team,” justified Cholo.
However, the doubt as to whether João Félix’s substitutions only respond to technical decisions had been fed by his second, Nelson Vivas, when he declared on the Movistar microphones, minutes before the appointment with Sevilla, that the Portuguese had not started. for ankle discomfort.
From the football point of view, João Félix lives in a complex exit labyrinth. Despite its good start to the season, it still does not enjoy the status of untouchable or the cornerstone of the project. Simeone is only going to grant it when it maintains a remarkable performance. Among the things that the Argentine coach supports the least is that the press gives the category of essential to a player who, according to him, has not yet earned it.
“You seek to focus the issue on a soccer player. The players have good, very good, extraordinary and other irregular moments. As coaches we look for the best moment in each of the footballers we have. We need João. When he is in his best version, he is unbalancing, different, with situations to define above and we need him in that version ”, Simeone stressed. In Anoeta, after the victory (0-2), the coach stressed that the victory had occurred without the Portuguese. Perhaps he was already announcing what would come next.
Since the defeat in the derby, in which João Félix showed notable anger after being substituted, his performance and participation began to decline. Now he has found that Lemar is part of the hitching duties that he performs. The increase of minutes of the French has coincided with the sequence of the Portuguese on the bench. Correa gives Simeone a spark in attack and work on the right wing in games in which the coach believes that it is necessary to influence those tasks. El Cholo does not want either of them to disengage. Correa, so he does not have to claim that he does not want to be at Atlético if it is not to play. And Lemar because he feels that he has recovered a player that he considered lost.