In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
This summer, 19-year-old Joao Felix became the fourth-most expensive player in football history when he joined Atletico Madrid from Benfica for £112.9m, as reported by The Guardian.
The Portuguese youngster hasn’t quite been a fountain of goals for Diego Simeone’s team so far, with just three to his name in his first 10 appearances, and Robbie Dunne wrote on Into the Calderon that the manager has yet to get the best out of the teenage talent.
If Felix is looking for inspiration during his debut campaign at Atletico, he could do worse than seek to emulate another forward who came to the club as a teenager.
Coincidentally, Aguero also scored three goals in his first 10 Atletico appearances, but he would struggle in his first season in Spain, netting just six times in 38 games and ending the campaign with 16 matches in a row where he didn’t score. [via TransferMarkt]
However, anyone tempted to write off Aguero as a dud in 2007 would ultimately be proven quite wrong, as the Argentina striker blossomed thereafter.
That summer’s departure of Fernando Torres to Liverpool enabled the youngster to step into the limelight at the Estadio Vicente Calderon. He struck 19 goals in 37 La Liga games in 2007/08 as Atletico qualified for the following season’s Champions League, ending an 11-year absence from the competition.
The Argentine was somewhat overshadowed by strike partner Diego Forlan the following season, with Aguero scoring just 12 league goals that term to the Uruguayan’s 18, although he won his first trophy at the club with Atletico’s Europa League triumph over Fulham.
However, in May 2011, he asked his club to release him from his contract, which ultimately soured his relationship with many Atletico fans. On the day that Aguero joined Manchester City that summer, an element of the Rojiblancos’ support unveiled a banner at a Europa League qualifier which read ‘Aguero, We Hope You Die’, as per Manchester Evening News.
It wasn’t the most cerebral way for his time at Atletico to come to an end, but having gone on to score 100 goals in 230 games for the club after an initial struggle, Aguero could act as an inspiration for Felix as the Portuguese youngster navigates his way through his debut campaign at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atletico fans, do you think Felix could go on to be as prolific as Aguero in his time at the club? Let us know your views by commenting below!
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