Developing the skills of youngsters is one of the most important things a football club can do: it benefits the quality of the teams and may even prove to be a sound decision from a financial point of view – the transfer of Kylian Mbappé last year is the best example. After graduating from the youth academy of the French Ligue 1 club Monaco, Mbappé was signed by Paris Saint Germain in last year’s most expensive transfer: the Paris team paid around 180 million euros (more than N62 billion) to have him – and he was merely 19 years old.
The name of the Portuguese football club Benfica may seem familiar for those following European football or betting at betway.com.ng. Today, one of their players seems to become the subject of a brand new bidding war. His name is João Félix Sequeira, he is 19, and there are at least three major European football clubs who would like to see him join their ranks.
Félix in a nutshell
João Félix Sequeira started playing football seriously at the age of eight, joining the local team Os Pestinhas. Soon, he moved on to FC Porto’s youth team where he trained for seven years before being let go because of his “slight frame”. This didn’t stop him from pursuing his career: he moved on to the Lisbon-based Benfica, Porto’s rivals, where he made his professional debut.
In his first match as a professional player, Félix came on as a substitute in the 83rd minute, making an impression – at the same time, becoming the youngest player to debut for Benfica B at the age of 16. After two seasons with the second team, Félix was promoted to Benfica’s first team and scored a goal in his second ever Primeira Lige match. Over the last year, he played in several high-profile matches as a striker, winger, and attacking midfielder, scoring several goals and sparking the interest of many major teams in the process.
A bidding war?
There are several major teams willing to see Félix join their ranks. Among them, the English Premier League teams Manchester United and Manchester City, as well as the Spanish side Real Madrid, are the most likely to bid on his transfer. Reportedly, Real Madrid offered 80 million euros for the youngster, while Manchester City is rumored to have outbid the Spanish club with an offer worth GBP 106 million euros (more than N41.2 billion). At the same time, Manchester United’s offer has not yet been revealed.
Having a talented young player joining the ranks of a football club can truly boost its value both when it comes to playmaking and when it comes to transferring fees.