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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Chelsea can land Jorginho heir in Fernandez

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Chelsea have granted the departure of Jorginho to London rivals Arsenal on deadline day and could now find the perfect replacement in Benfica gem Enzo Fernandez…

What’s the word?

With the January transfer window closing at 11pm tonight, Graham Potter‘s Blues have reached an agreement with Arsenal for the sale of the Italy midfielder for a reported £12m.

Amid a barrage of change at Stamford Bridge on the transfer front, the next piece of the puzzle could slotted into place with a swoop for Argentina star Fernandez, with Fabrizio Romano confirming this morning that negotiations are continuing ahead of a prospective transfer.

However, The Telegraph’s Matt Law has since tweeted to state that an agreement is yet to be forthcoming.

A “cheat-code” of an upgrade

An abundance of new-found quality has drifted into Stamford Bridge since the arrival of Todd Boehly in the ownership role last year, but perhaps nothing embodies the ambition and title-winning aspirations of the current proprietor like the pursuit of Fernandez.

Having only signed for Benfica from River Plate in his homeland last summer, the 22-year-old has since won the World Cup and been at the centre of a £105m transfer saga, with Chelsea indeed hoping to secure his services before the transfer window closes tonight.

Will Enzo Fernandez be a good signing?

Yes – he’s special!

No – he’s unproven!

No - he's unproven!

Having made 29 appearances for the Lisbon club, scoring four goals and providing seven assists, the gem has indeed emerged as one of the continent’s most coveted young stars, with his average Liga Portugal rating of 7.53 (as per Sofascore) evidence of his prowess.

As per FBref, he ranks among the top 8% of midfielders in Europe’s major leagues for shots, assists, non-penalty goals, passes attempted and progressive passes, illustrating a player who routinely gets the ball into dangerous positions while also bombing forward himself with regularity.

Having also clinched the Best Young Player award during Argentina’s triumph in Qatar, he seemingly boasts the acumen to flourish at the very forefront of the European scene over the coming decade.

Hailed by Kwadwo Sheldon as a cheat-code” following his performances in 2022, Fernandez pulls the strings and combines defence with attack to resounding success, and he would be a worthy successor to Jorginho’s position in the squad.

The Argentine outstrips the current Chelsea midfielder for numerous metrics so far this season, coming out on top for shots per 90, expected goals, passing success rate, blocks, shot-creating actions and successful dribbles (as per FBref).

While Jorginho has been a calming presence with an aptitude for recycling possession and instigating promising progressions up the pitch, ranking in the top 10% of European midfielders for passes attempted and progressive passes made, the talented and much youngster Fernandez could prove to be an upgrade on the Italian if he comes to Stamford Bridge before tonight’s transfer deadline.

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