Portugal head coach Fernando Santos will have no hesitation over throwing Benfica sensation Joao Felix into action in the Nations League Finals.
The uncapped 19-year-old was the headline selection in Santos’ 23-man squad for the finale of the inaugural UEFA competition.
Joao Felix enjoyed a breakout season as Benfica claimed their 37th Portuguese league title, scoring 15 times over the course of 26 top-flight appearances.
A host of Europe’s clubs have been linked with triggering his €120million release clause as a result.
Portugal were somewhat shot shy in their back-to-back Euro 2020 qualification draws against Serbia and Ukraine in May and Santos backed Joao Felix to shine if called upon for Wednesday’s semi-final against Switzerland at Estadio do Dragao.
“If he wasn’t ready he wouldn’t be called up,” the veteran tactician told a pre-match news conference. “Regardless of age we assess capabilities.
“So, if he was selected and is part of this team and others were left out that is because he is ready to play.
“He’s been called up for a reason. We need to call up players who can contribute. He has great qualities.”