Graham Potter has new Chelsea Star undroppable as opportunity arises
Chelsea Online News:
Enzo Fernandez demonstrated against Leicester City why Chelsea paid a British record fee to sign him from Benfica during the January transfer window.
Enzo Fernandez assessed the scene ahead of him after receiving the ball from Wesley Fofana. The Argentine and the goal were separated by eight outfield players. There was no way out. Only pure creativity could open the door for Chelsea.
The 22-year-old did so – and in grand style. Fernandez saw Kai Havertz move and scooped the ball delicately but effortlessly over the Leicester City defense. Danny Ward, the goalkeeper, rushed off his line, but it was pointless as it allowed Havertz to easily cushion his shot over him and into the back of the net.
Chelsea’s celebration was subdued. Following the Blues’ 3-1 triumph at the King Power Stadium, Havertz revealed why:
“With VAR it is hard because I thought I was way offside,” the German said. “I have scored so many goals where I was then offside so I thought for sure they are going to take it back.”
It was a goal—or even a pass—that merited more celebration. Also, it served as a powerful reminder of Chelsea’s decision to pay a record British transfer fee (£106.8 million) to sign Fernandez from Benfica during the January transfer window.
“He is a great player with a lot of qualities,” stated Havertz. “He already showed it in the last games and he can play these kinds of passes.”
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Since Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea has not had a midfielder who can consistently produce passes of this caliber, in Havertz’s words. Because of this, Fernandez has been the sole constant in Graham Potter’s starting XI since his transfer in the winter.
“He’s a fantastic player but still a young player,” said Potter on Saturday. “I think he’s going to get better and better when he’s with us more. He’s just arrived in a new country and a new league and players always have to adapt to that. You can see his quality, when he gets the ball he passes forward. He sees everything.”
For Chelsea supporters, Fernandez’s potential for greater things is enticing. As is the potential to see two World Cup winners on the pitch together in the upcoming weeks.
N’Golo Kante has resumed full training with Chelsea and could participate in the clash against Everton on Saturday. Due to a hamstring injury, the 31-year-old hasn’t played since the second weekend of the season and, understandably, hasn’t been paired with Fernandez in midfield.
There is a real chance that Fernandez and Kante will play together when Chelsea’s Champions League campaign resumes next month, though it may take some time for the French international to catch up. And if the two can work well together and both stay in shape, there is no telling what they can do between now and the end of this campaign.