Chelsea's Joao Felix reacts after a missed chance during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London. Picture date: Thursday January 12, 2023. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Chelsea’s Joao Felix suspended for Liverpool trip after red card on debut

Chelsea are to be without new loan signing Joao Felix for their trip to Liverpool in eight days’ time after a red card on debut – far from the ideal first impression.

The Blues have continued splashing the cash in the wake of Todd Boehly and his consortium taking over and landed Felix from Atletico Madrid this month, in a £9 million loan deal until the end of the season.

He was named in Graham Potter’s starting XI at the first opportunity as Chelsea made the trip to Fulham on Thursday, but it was not the dream debut he’d have hoped for.

Felix was clearly eager to have an influence, but he took it a step too far with a reckless challenge on Kenny Tete in the second half, a straight red card leaving Chelsea with 10 men.

Potter’s woes were compounded with a 2-1 loss at Fulham and he will now be without his new loanee for the next three games, a run that includes a trip to Liverpool on January 21.

Chelsea meet Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Fulham in their next three Premier League games, with Felix unavailable for selection in all, in what has proved a costly tackle.

Potter could not complain about the referee’s decision and bemoaned another setback in a match that also saw Denis Zakaria withdrawn with an injury: “It was a forward’s tackle, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red.

“It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment. He was really good you could see his quality in the game, so it is doubly disappointing for us.”

Chelsea are currently on a run of one win in their last eight games in all competitions.