Given that he hasn’t been playing well lately and has drawn a lot of criticism—former chairman of Crystal Palace Simon Jordan has said that Fernandez isn’t worth the money the Blues paid for him.
Earlier this year, Chelsea shattered their transfer record to sign the Argentine, paying £107 million to acquire him from Benfica (BBC Sport).
The reason for Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to bench Enzo Fernandez
Following Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino said Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher were more suitable players for the role than Fernandez.
The Blues manager explained his decision to leave the former Benfica player out, saying, “Only 11 can play.” It’s a fierce competition, and maybe you only need one quality. Either one profile, or multiple profiles.
“I have to select the player, and naturally, we observed that Caicedo and Gallagher together, with [Cole] Cole as a No. 10 being a potential choice for the best combination for today.”
Is Enzo Fernandez going to reclaim his position?
One would think so. Pochettino appears to have just chosen a different approach for the Sheffield United match, even if Fernandez is not the kind of player you typically sit. Ultimately, Chelsea spent more than £100 million to get his signature.
Even though the Argentina international hasn’t played particularly well this year, he is still a very talented player overall.
Fernandez, for instance, is an excellent passer; in the current season, he has completed 4.3 long balls per game, which is the second-highest average among Chelsea’s players (WhoScored).
But his detractors will likely want to see more for their £107 million. They will be expecting goals and assists from him.