The reason why Joao Felix’s deadline for Chelsea debut vs Fulham was revealed ahead of the imminent Atletico loan deal
Chelsea is currently wrapping things up on a deal to sign Joao Felix temporarily until the end of the season as Graham Potter looks to bolster his squad.
Potter has come under increased pressure in recent weeks with his Blues side on a poor run of form. The Chelsea head coach has seen his team beaten six times in the last nine matches in all competitions and in that time they have managed to score on just five occasions.
Chelsea has 10 first-team players out with injury problems at the moment and the squad is undoubtedly depleted. However, Potter is not looking for excuses and he accepted following the 4-0 FA Cup third-round defeat to Manchester City that his side is really struggling.
“Well, the results in terms of the Premier League, I think we’ve lost four matches,” Potter told reporters at the Etihad Stadium. “Newcastle away before the World Cup when we had nine players out, we lost 1-0 to Arsenal, we lost on a bad day at Brighton, and I think we lost to Man City.
“Those are the teams we’ve lost to and we’ve drawn against Manchester United and Brentford, so the results in a small space of time are not positive. Like I’ve said, you can make excuses and look for reasons or you can say it’s not good enough.
“Both of those answers are correct so we have to keep improving and stick together because clearly we are suffering as a football club and it’s not nice at all. That’s where we are at the moment.”
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has already spent way over £ 50 million this month with three new signings to try and help Potter. Saying that all three players – David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, and Andrey Santos – are 21 or under, so they may be recruitments with more than an eye on the future rather than helping the squad immediately.
Fofana did make his debut against Man City, though, coming on at half-time at the Etihad. Badiashile was also in the squad but the 21-year-old defender was an unused substitute in Manchester.
Now, the club is looking to bring another attacking player in with a deal close to signing Felix from Atletico. The 23-year-old has a verbal agreement with Chelsea over a loan move, but Atletico did not want to include an option to buy in the contract.
Chelsea are expected to pay the Spanish club around £ 9 million for the loan signing of Felix, who has been watched on numerous occasions this season by Blues scouts. press hub was told last month that the interest in Felix was ‘tentative’ and nothing more, but that has ramped up in recent days and the club is expected to get the deal done very soon.
They do face a race against time, however, should Chelsea want to field the Atletico forward against Fulham in the Premier League on Thursday night. The Blues know it’s a must-win game against their west London rivals as the pressure continues to mount on Potter.
As per the Premier League regulations handbook, if Felix was to feature at Craven Cottage, he will need to be officially registered as a Chelsea player by 12 pm on Wednesday afternoon.
The rulebook states: “Subject to the provisions of Rule V.1, the deadline for receipt by the Board of all duly completed documents required by these Rules to effect the registration of a Player shall be 12 noon on the last Working Day before the date of the first League Match in which the Club making the application intends him to play, save that the international transfer certificate and evidence of eligibility to take up employment in the United Kingdom (in both cases if applicable) may be provided thereafter (but must be provided before the Player is eligible to play for a Club in a League Match).”
Chelsea needs Felix as much as ever right now. Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, who both came off injured in the Premier League defeat to Man City last week, are set for a spell on the sidelines with their respective problems.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a back problem and did not travel with the squad to Manchester at the weekend for the FA Cup third-round defeat. That leaves the Blues with just Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, and David Datro Fofana in attacking positions.
Omari Hutchinson, who has featured in the last two games, is a youth player but can also be included as an option for Potter.