Premier League • England

Enzo Fernandez issued severe Chelsea warning as Blues show their true colours with poor treatment of attacker

Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea’s new record signing Enzo Fernandez has been told to be careful at Stamford Bridge following the club’s treatment of one of his new team-mates.

Following a lengthy transfer saga which also involved Liverpool and Manchester United temporarily, Fernandez left Benfica by joining Chelsea at the end of the January transfer window.

Chelsea seemed to have botched talks with Benfica on January 9. They were unwilling to meet the midfielder’s £107million release clause and this left the Portuguese club angry.

Benfica boss Roger Schmidt accused Graham Potter’s side of getting Fernandez excited about a move before deciding against submitting the necessary bid to sign him.

However, in a huge twist, Chelsea re-opened discussions not long before Tuesday’s transfer deadline. They finally agreed to pay the full release clause, albeit through instalments, and announced Fernandez’s move to west London on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old, who won the World Cup with Argentina late last year, becomes the most expensive Premier League signing of all time. The £107m Chelsea will pay smashes the previous record, which was Jack Grealish’s £100m move from Aston Villa to Manchester City.

Fernandez has penned a Chelsea contract lasting until June 2031. He will be hoping to make his Blues debut when they come up against local rivals Fulham on Friday evening.

Despite all the excitement about the colossal signing from a Chelsea perspective, other people in the game are not convinced. Pundit Danny Murphy says Chelsea have been ‘bent over’ by Benfica for massively ‘overpaying’.

Enzo Fernandez may end up having Chelsea regret

And now Dutch journalist Mikos Gouka has sent Fernandez a warning by explaining how he could end up becoming the next Hakim Ziyech.

The winger was hoping to leave Chelsea before the transfer window shut. Paris Saint-Germain tried to sign him, but Chelsea reportedly sent the wrong documents on three separate occasions, which saw the deadline pass. And Ziyech is now stuck at Chelsea, despite wanting to be a PSG player.

Chelsea claim a technological error was the reason they missed the deadline. But given all the money being spent on new players, you would have thought the club has state-of-the-art technology to deal with these sorts of things.

In his column for Dutch daily newspaper AD (via Sport Witness), Gouka expressed his concern about the Ziyech situation and how it may impact Fernandez in the future.

“Let it be a wise lesson for Enzo Fernandez immediately,” he wrote.

“Chelsea did everything they could this month to loosen the Argentine world champion from Benfica, with staggering transfer fees put on the table almost carelessly in order to quell the sporting crisis at Stamford Bridge.

“Similarly, at the time, the English club laid on Hakim Ziyech as the first purchase in 2020 after the transfer ban imposed on the club by FIFA.

Hakim Ziyech ‘no longer matters’ to Chelsea – observer

“But two-and-a-half years later, the club does not even bother to carefully finalise a rental deal with Paris Saint-Germain. As if Ziyech, one of the better players at the last World Cup in Qatar, simply no longer mattered already.

“And the fact that the rental deal, which could have earned Chelsea another few million, collapsed so easily through negligence indicated yet again that the top English club is not at all concerned about money.

“After all, they have that in abundance. Staff to sign contracts and send paperwork on time, however, they do not, Ziyech revealed Tuesday night in anger.”

Given how much money Chelsea have paid for Fernandez, it is unlikely they will want to sell him any time soon. And he probably won’t end up in a similar situation to Ziyech as he will usually be named as a midfield starter.

Instead, Gouka’s comments should serve as a warning to other Chelsea players who, like Ziyech, hope to move on in the near future. And there could be as many as six of them in the summer.

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