Wednesday, February 28News That Matters

Azpilicueta says new Chelsea signing is ‘unbelievable’ in training

Cesar Azpilicueta claims new Chelsea signing Joao Felix is ‘unbelievable’ in training and concedes he was ‘surprised’ Atletico Madrid agreed to loan him to the club.

Felix will spend the rest of the campaign on loan at Chelsea after leaving La Liga club Atletico Madrid during the January transfer window.

The 23-year-old has endured a mixed start to his career at Stamford Bridge, receiving a red card on his Premier League debut in a 2-1 defeat to Fulham but scoring in his first game back from suspension in the draw with West Ham.

Chelsea skipper Azpilicueta says Felix is ‘amazing’ on the training pitch and has tipped the loanee to have a ‘big impact’ on the team for the rest of the campaign.

When asked if Felix is a ‘special talent’ ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 first leg match at Dortmund, Azpilicueta said: ‘Yes, he is.

‘I knew him from Atletico Madrid when we played against them and from watching their games in La Liga.

‘I was quite surprised when he arrived because we know the quality he has. He’s amazing in training and in the last game against West Ham, he showed the way he can turn, create spaces, play passes.

‘In training, he has been unbelievable, honestly very good. He scored the other day too and that will help with his confidence.

‘He is a young boy with great experience and great confidence, who is making already a big impact in the team. ‘I am looking forward to seeing him in the team and performing at this level.’

Felix is one of a number of new signings at Chelsea, with the club owner Todd Boehly spending almost £600m on transfers over the last two windows.

‘It’s been a bit of a busier January transfer than before but in my role, I try to help the new players adapt as quickly as possible to the team,’ Azpilicueta added.

‘In football, sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to start your journey in a new club, country, a different language.

‘So from my side, I’ve been trying to help integrate them as quickly as possible in the team so that they can express themselves and show their quality, like a few of the boys have done already. I think we have exciting times ahead.’

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