Reported Arsenal target Joao Felix reminded Nigel de Jong of Brazilian star Kaka during his scintillating performance in Portugal’s last-16 win at the World Cup.
Felix grabbed two assists in Portugal’s 6-1 demolition of Switzerland, but it was his overall play that caught the eye and reminded the world of the talent he possesses.
The 23-year-old’s club career has hit a roadblock at Atletico Madrid, with him only starting five La Liga games all season, while he’s cut a frustrated figure lately with him being unable to play Atleti’s final league game before the World Cup due to suspension.
Back in October, journalist Paul Brown told GiveMeSport reported that Arsenal’s board were keen on Felix and have since been given a huge boost in his pursuit with him falling out with Diego Simeone, as well as the club’s financial issues seeing him become available, according to Fabrizio Romano.
During the full-time analysis, ITV pundit De Jong likened the Portuguese’s movement and dribbling to his former Milan teammate, Kaka.
He said: “You know what he reminds me of today? Of Ricardo Kaka.
“The way how he played, the way how he picked players in between the lines, his runs that he made, and being so crucial also for the passes he gave. I mean, this link-up play [for the fourth goal] was fantastic.”
TIF Thoughts on De Jong’s comments…
His creative play from deep was vital as he continuously linked the defence and forward lines seamlessly, with him receiving an 8/10 match rating from Sofascore. He completed two key passes and created one big chance, along with starting the move for Raphael Guerreiro’s goal from inside his own half.
His defensive play was also a joy, as he won four out of five ground duels as well as one interception and two tackles. With him more than capable of doing the dirty work, Portugal’s World Cup success now looks to rest on his shoulders as he emerges from Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow along with the likes of Goncalo Ramos – but his performances in Qatar may mean Arsenal won’t be the only team vying for his signature.