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World Cup concern raised over Enzo Fernandez’s £106.8m January transfer to Chelsea



(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Enzo Fernandez joined Chelsea for a British record on deadline day last month from Benfica and it has left everyone to make their opinions of the £106.8 million transfer.

Chelsea sealed the transfer to acquire the 22-year-old in the final hour of the window last week, becoming the eighth and final signing in a busy month for the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership.

Fernandez was taunted by Fulham fans on his debut at Stamford Bridge last Friday, impressing in his first 90 minutes for Chelsea, with the travelling Cottagers singing ‘what a waste of money’.

Head coach Graham Potter defended the Argentine and accepted the new signings will need to accept such chants by opposition fans.

The 47-year-old said: “It’s not just Enzo, it’s the whole team. It’s normal because we have spent the money we have spent and you guys aren’t going to let that go under the radar, so all of football will be singing that song.”

After Fernandez’s arrival, Chelsea’s spending surpassed £300 million and took the overall spending since the takeover to over £600 million.

Time will tell whether or not Fernandez will be a success at Chelsea, signing a deal until June 2031, after his breakout at the 2022 World Cup. Fernandez had only joined Benfica last summer from River Plate for just under £9 million.

Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson has his concerns over his price-tag which relates to his World Cup performances during Argentina’s triumph in Qatar.

“Perhaps Chelsea weren’t or aren’t in the race to sign a player like Declan (Rice),” Johnson told Betfred. “Obviously with Enzo it’s a lot of money, but let’s face it, everybody costs a lot of money nowadays. The money element doesn’t surprise me really.

“What does surprise me though, is that I didn’t know much about him until the World Cup. Yes, he had a fantastic World Cup, but the thing that concerns me is that there’s a lot of players that have a fantastic World Cup and then don’t do much after.

“There will be people who have watched him play week in, week out and believe he’s fantastic, but from my perspective I don’t know much about him.”

Despite Johnson’s doubts, Potter is excited to see the midfielder develop at Stamford Bridge and believes he will only continue to get better and better as time goes on.

“I thought he handled himself magnificently,” the Chelsea head coach reflected after his debut.

“Tough game and you can see his quality, you can see what he will bring to the team. Not easy for him or for us because he’s not been with us that long.

“I think you’ll see how good he can be and how much he can influence the team so excited with him.”