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Rafael van der Vaart has argued that Joao Felix has experienced a lacklustre season at Atletico Madrid because he is at the "wrong club."
The 20-year-old Portuguese wonderkid left Benfica last summer and completed a sensational £113m move to Atletico.
But Felix, who was heavily linked with Europe's biggest clubs, has only scored four times and assisted twice in 24 appearances for Los Rojiblancos.
Van Der Vaart has now suggested that the club haven't adjusted their style of play to "suit his needs."
The 36-year-old Dutchman explained: "Joao Felix is a fine player, but he's at the wrong club.
"When they signed the Portuguese striker, I felt that [Diego] Simeone would try and embark on a different brand of playing, but that's far from the case.
"I understand that winning is important but when you have a talented forward like him, you need to cater the style of play somewhat to suit his needs."
Diego Simeone's men suffered a 1-0 defeat to fierce rivals Real Madrid last Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
And Van Der Vaart said the clash highlighted that former Benfica star Felix is playing at the "wrong club and working under the wrong coach."
The former Ajax and Tottenham star explained: "Atletico Madrid play in a very compact manner with a heavy focus on defending well and attacking on the counter.
"Felix, I feel, is at the wrong club and working under the wrong coach."
Felix admitted last month that he plans to return to Benfica later on in his career and "leave my mark on the club."
The Portugal international told Benfica Play: "Now I see how happy I was at Benfica. I plan to return one day and leave my mark on the club."
The Atletico forward revealed that his hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in Benfica's 4-2 victory was his most memorable moment.
"On the third goal I did, I cried," he said. "I took a whole weight off. Two days before, in the locker room, I heard comments that didn't suit me.
"I went to the bathroom to cry. Nobody knew, but then I got the hat-trick and got free, I gave it my all."
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