Enzo Fernandez is Chelsea’s £107m ‘musician’ – ready to direct their transfer revolution towards winning trophies again

IN north western Buenos Aires, you have to be pretty special to stand out as an Enzo.

Virtually every boy in the neighbourhood is named after River Plate’s iconic midfielder Enzo Francescoli, who had two spells with the club in the 80s and 90s.

GettyEnzo Fernandez joined Chelsea on transfer deadline day in a British record £107million deal[/caption]

GettyThe midfielder arrived in the UK on Wednesday[/caption]

GettyFernandez helped Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar[/caption]

GettyHe joins the Blues from Portuguese side Benfica[/caption]

Enzo Fernandez was just the same.

But now he is out on his own as Chelsea’s new marquee signing and the most expensive player in British history.

At £107million, Argentina’s World Cup-winning midfielder arrives in England ­saddled with huge expectation to deliver on the monstrous fee — and quickly.

Fernandez said: “I am grateful to Chelsea and its ownership for doing everything they could to make me a part of this project.

“I’m happy and excited to join the Pride of London, to play in the best league in the world and to compete for the biggest trophies.”

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly added: “We are signing one of the brightest talents in global football.

“We are excited to add him to Graham’s squad, we are sure he will form an important part of our team going forward.

“Enzo has demonstrated his ability at the highest ­levels so we’re looking forward to seeing what he does in blue!”


Maybe Boehly and manager Graham Potter saw something in the player’s nickname that travelled with him from South America when he joined ­Benfica last summer.

Team-mates labelled him ‘El musico’ — ‘the musician’.

So-called because Fernandez was known to conduct the entire team like a 10-piece orchestra from midfield.

He is 22 and has played only 71 club matches in his career.

The 72nd could come on Friday night in a home game against Fulham.

Little known outside of the hipster community before November, Enzo is expected to lead Chelsea’s rapidly-expanding and expensive international brigade into better times.

GettyFernandez only joined Benfica in the summer[/caption]

GettyThe midfielder played for River Plate in Argentina before signing for the Portuguese side[/caption]

GettyFernandez starred for Argentina as they won the World Cup in Qatar[/caption]

Chelsea are 10th in the Prem, out of both domestic cups and, in less than two weeks, face Borussia Dortmund to remain in the Champions League knockout stages.

So Fernandez walks into a club facing an uphill battle just to qualify for the Europa League and he will be expected to hit the ground running.

Discovered by renowned Argentinian scout Pablo Esquivel at five years old, he was considered different to all the other Enzos even then.

Esquivel said: “When he was five you could tell he was different, different class.

“He was the leader of the team and all his passes were very clear. It was crystal clear he would take the right path.”

Fernandez’s background is a familiar one of relative poverty.

His parents were poor and the sacrifices they made to get him to where he is now remain a driving force.

The wallpaper of tattoos covering his body are not there to intimidate.

A small, innocuous inking at the base of his throat spells out ‘fe’ — the Portuguese word for ‘faith’.

Coincidentally, his new team-mate Mykhailo ­Mudryk has an identical one on his hands.

The Fernandez family are River Plate fanatics, hence his name.

Enzo Francescoli went on to play for Marseille and was so good that France great ­Zinedine Zidane named a kid after him, too.

Fernandez was one of eight Chelsea signings in JanuaryGetty

He will take the No5 shirt at Stamford BridgeGetty

There is no doubt the rapid transformation of Fernandez from impressive, young ­midfielder to world star is a massive risk for Chelsea.

Just a few months ago, he was playing alongside Julian Alvarez for River Plate in the Copa Libertadores.

Both players are now in the Prem and world champions.

River Plate sold Fernandez for just £16m last July.

They obviously knew a good thing too, as they insisted upon a 25 per cent sell-on clause.

It means they now pocket an additional £26m, taking the combined fee for Fernandez to £42m, making him the most expensive Argentinian ever.

But striker Alvarez, who scored six goals in one match they played together, cost Manchester City just £14m after they shopped direct.

Chelsea have piled pressure on a young man’s shoulders by using middle men Benfica and paid through the nose.

Described as a box-to-box midfielder, he uses both feet equally well, can shoot, defend and leads.

One Argentinian source told SunSport: “Chelsea have a new captain ready and waiting for when they want one.”

At Benfica, he has been most comfortable in a two-man midfield where he can roam alongside a defensive-minded player.

More cautious observers from inside Stamford Bridge suggest it is dangerous to put so much faith in a player from watching him at the World Cup.

There is no doubt Fernandez has quality — he was catapulted into Argentina’s World Cup squad after just two friendlies.

He was voted young player of the tournament and took home a winners’ medal.

There is also no debate about his passion for football.

At just 15 he produced an open letter to his idol Lionel Messi, who was considering international retirement.

The teenage Fernandez wrote: “How are we going to convince you to carry on playing if the rest of us suck at football?

“How are we going to convince you if we have had only one per cent of the pressure you endure every day, Lionel.”

Fernandez is about to get a little bit more of an idea what that pressure feels like.

GettyFernandez played just 29 times for Benfica before joining the Blues[/caption]

ReutersHe was crowned young player of the tournament at the World Cup[/caption]

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