Joao Felix got sent off on his Chelsea debut on Thursday night, and the forward’s loan from Atletico Madrid will now cost a lot more per game.
On Wednesday afternoon, Todd Boehly got his cheque book out once again, as the American brought Chelsea’s spending to around £400 million in the transfer window since he joined.
The latest money spent was to bring Felix to the club on loan, until the end of the season, with the Blues paying a big fee just for the temporary move.
Blues fans would have been glad that they at least weren’t putting him in a poor position straight away by handing him the cursed number nine shirt, with Felix instead wearing 11.
The forward started well, setting up Kai Havertz, only for the German to have his shot blocked, and then forced two Fulham yellow cards, as the hosts struggled against him initially.
However, things were soon going terribly for the 23-year-old, and he saw red in his debut game, making a poor and reckless challenge on Kenny Tete.
Not only did he miss the final 20 minutes, in which Fulham grabbed the winner, but it also means he’ll miss the next three games as well.
That means he can only play in a maximum 18 league games in total for the club, making his £9 million loan fee equate to a shocking €575,000 per game, roughly, not including his reported €250,000-a-week wages.
Felix departs after the red card. Image: AlamyThere had already been questions from some about the amount of money being spent on the loan, with Arsenal and Manchester United both offered the loan but refusing to pay the fee.
Felix signed a new contract at Atletico before making the move and there was no option or obligation to buy built into the loan deal.
All that means it’s unlikely the former Benfica star will actually end up moving permanently to Stamford Bridge, no matter how much he impresses during his spell in west London.
His issues in Spain have seemed to be with finding a place in Diego Simeone’s team, and there are reports suggesting the manager could leave before Felix does.
With his three match suspension now in place, Graham Potter will be even more bemused by what he can do to turn things around.
Felix had looked good before his sending off. Image: AlamyFelix will now miss home games against Crystal Palace and Fulham, as well as the away game against Liverpool, with all three now huge games for Potter.
His side have now lost their previous two league games in-a-row, drawing the third, and have also been knocked out of the FA Cup.
In all competitions they have lost eight of their last 11 games, stretching back to the defeat away to Brighton back in October.
Potter’s side are already 10 points behind fourth place Manchester United, with Erik ten Hag’s side having a game in hand over their rivals.