Potter lauds Joao Felix after first training session as Chelsea keep chequebook open

Will Ford
Chelsea coach Graham Potter

Graham Potter said there was time for Chelsea to do more business in the January transfer window after they confirmed the signing of Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid.

The Portugal international became Chelsea’s third signing of the window on Wednesday with the club reportedly paying £9million for the six-month deal, but the manager acknowledged there could still be more players through the door if the right deals could be done.

The Premier League club were waiting to hear whether the 23-year-old was registered in time to feature against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Thursday, as they look to cut the gap on the top four, which currently stands at 10 points.

“He’s a quality player,” Potter said. “He can make a difference in the final third of the pitch. He’s young but has still had a lot of really good experience. He’s just a quality player that gives everyone a lift.

“We’ve been aware of (him) for a while – these kinds of things don’t happen quickly. The injuries have sharpened the focus a little bit. Still it’s nice to get him here, to get him training today. That’s a positive for us.

“Then we’ll see for the game on Thursday. We’re waiting for confirmation.

“He’s a good age, the quality is there. He’s a fantastic player. His quality is in terms of playing as a second striker, playing between the lines, making things happen in the final third. So we’re looking forward to working with him.

“There’s time (for more signings). Whether we’ll find the right players or not is another thing. You have to look in this window to make the right decisions, but it’s complicated. We’re happy with what we’ve done so far.”

Chelsea are on a run of just one win in their last eight league games and supporters sang the name of former head coach Thomas Tuchel during last Sunday’s meek 4-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.

The PA news agency understands that the board has no plans to remove Potter as manager as it remains convinced that he is the right man to get the best out of the nearly £350million outlay sanctioned by owner Todd Boehly.

The manager was keen to draw attention to the difficulties faced by other bosses at the Premier League’s top sides during their early days in charge.

“You have to understand that it’s part of the job,” said Potter. “You only have to look at some of my colleagues in similar positions.

“Pep (Guardiola) was quite heavily criticised in his first season. (Mikel) Arteta had to endure a period of criticism. (Jurgen) Klopp in the first few years got some criticism. These guys are fantastic.

“Football is emotional. When you lose, you don’t think about it, you feel it.

“The suffering, you feel the pain, the discomfort. Sometimes it’s hard to understand the ‘why’. It’s easier to blame somebody. But it’s always very complex.

“You try to put it into perspective, try to remember you’re capable, try to remember how you got here. Two months ago I was considered to be a top coach.”

Potter will have striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang available for Thursday after he recovered from a back injury, but Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic are likely to be out for a couple of months.

N’Golo Kante and Reece James have returned to training alone but are not thought to be close to returning.

READ MORE: Joao Felix below only one huge flop in 15 most expensive loan players in history