Diego Simeone says "things come naturally" to Joao Felix after he starred in Atletico Madrid's season opener win over Getafe, though the Argentine admitted that Alvaro Morata's future is out of his hands.
The duo were the star performers for the Rojiblancos as they helped steer their side to a 3-0 win on Monday evening, with the former bagging all three assists and the latter netting a brace.
It marked an impressive return to the field in Atletico colours for both, with Felix having spent the end of last season sidelined through injury, and Morata spending the prior two campaigns on loan at Juventus.
Felix, in particular, delivered an assured performance that showcased his growth for Simeone, who said the Portuguese star's talent helps his game speak for itself.
"He looks more mature, stronger," he stated. "He showed last season until he had to leave due to injury. He is growing, [he] shows maturity, [he] sees more than the others.
"You don't have to force anything. Things come naturally and he has worked to get to this point. He has talent, he has a goal, and hopefully he can support everything he says here on the field."
They’re cooking this season pic.twitter.com/KDv7KPUe8b— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) August 15, 2022
Morata famously signed for Atletico following a loan move from Chelsea in 2020, only to promptly be loaned back out to former club Juventus for the subsequent two seasons.
The subject of his future remains up in the air beyond the end of the transfer window, and Simeone admitted he does not know what the next steps will be for the Spanish international, though he hopes for the star to remain.
"I am not the owner of the club, I am the coach," he added. "He is doing very well, working in an extraordinary way, and we hope that Morata will continue with us.
"I think that all footballers have to have confidence to do important things. He came with humility, desire to work, without demanding anything, striving to get to this shape and that is what we want to see."