Chelsea signed young superstar Enzo Fernandez from Benfica shortly after he helped Argentina to win the World Cup in hopes that he could help turn the team around. Despite Fernandez putting up great performances day in and day out, Chelsea continues to struggle.
After six matches this season, Chelsea sit in 14th place while winning just once. Rumours began to grow early in the month that Fernandez could potentially leave the club if things didn’t improve. He was able to cover up these rumors by saying: “We know what the World Cup generates. It opens the doors to many places, as it happened to me, who was at Benfica and my move to Chelsea was very great. I always said that playing in the Premier was my dream. I am very grateful to Chelsea for the opportunity” per La Nacion.
Though it seems keen that Fernandez could stay at Stamford Bridge, there is the possibility that the Argentine can leave the club if things continue to downfall. But the question still lies: What do Chelsea have to do to make Enzo Fernandez stay at the club long-term?
Chelsea and Enzo Fernandez: What needs to change
Improve on the Attack
Chelsea’s issues are deep. The club have only won one match in league play thus far, and that was against Luton Town. They have been shut out in their last two league matches as they struggle to find goals. Despite leading in possession against Bournemouth last weekend, they almost equaled the opponent in shots attempted, while totaling six shots on target that didn’t end in the back of the net.
New signing Nicolas Jackson has only a goal in five matches, struggling to score goals with 18 shots (six on target) since Aug 13. Not only that, but the whole attack for Chelsea does not seem to click. To top it off, they also lost Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, and Romelu Lukaku. Thus, Chelsea were forced to work with a whole new attacking line.
Once Mykhailo Mudryk, Moises Caicedo, and Jackson build the chemistry around Fernandez and even Raheem Stering, they will begin to bring the goals in. On top of that, they have to adjust to a new style of play under Mauricio Pochettino, who looks to favor the 3-4-2-1 and the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Improving the counter attack while also focusing on getting the ball on target is key to Chelsea’s offensive improvement, though it will not happen overnight. With a light schedule coming up, it is crucial that Chelsea begin their improvement if they want to work their way back up to the top half of the table.
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Injuries have hounded Chelsea to start the season with a good part of their squad injured. Their biggest blow was Christopher Nkunku’s knee injury. Signed from Leipzig, the Frenchman was the top scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 16 goals in just 25 matches. He underwent knee surgery in August and is not expected back for another month or two.
Caicedo is expected back for Sunday’s clash with Aston Villa, while Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and Carney Chuwuemeka should make their returns early next month. With constant injuries always pouring in, it is hard to keep consistency when several changes have to be made to the lineup. It seems like Enzo Fernandez and Raheem Sterling have been the healthiest players in the team, which is a problem.
Though, once Nukunku is back and fit, it will certainly rejuvenate the attack, but for how long? Unlike other teams, Chelsea do not have much depth in their roster to replace injured players compared to previous seasons, especially after losing several of their starters during the transfer window.
Fixing the health and fitness of players comes more from the physios department, but when several players get hurt in a team, it raises some red flags. Unfortunately, some of this lies on the players, with James and Nkunku known to be injury-prone. Once Chelsea figure out how to keep their players healthy, it will be a big boost to their route to winning.
Trust Mauricio Pochettino
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Out of all the managers that were available, Pochettino was the perfect choice for Chelsea. He spent five seasons in North London with Tottenham before moving to PSG in 2021. With Tottenham, he led them to the Champions League final in 2019 while also coaching Harry Kane to become one of the greatest strikers in the world. Despite not winning any titles, he was a major influence in making the club a consistent top five team in England.
Also, in just one year with PSG, he led them to a Ligue One title, a Coupe de France and a Trophee des Champions. His experience coaching both in England and at the top level would suit Chelsea well, but it comes with time. Between 2014-2019, he kept Tottenham a top five team, with even a second-place finish in 2016/17.
"I think it's good that the owner came to the dressing room"
Mauricio Pochettino insists he has no issue with co-owner Behdad Eghbali talking to the Chelsea players straight after their defeat to Aston Villa 🔵 pic.twitter.com/o0hJ4C56Cm
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 26, 2023
He enjoys high-pressing football, which is why he goes with the 3-4-2-1 and the 4-2-3-1 formation. This will eventually benefit Chelsea once they get all their players back. It is too soon to judge the work that Pochettino has done in just one month. Until James and the rest of the new signings are back and healthy, the work that Pochettino has put on will come to play.
Fernandez has been pleased working under Pochettino, even praising him that they are expected to win the league under him. Both Argentinians have a good relationship, and he will eventually captain the side once his English improves, according to his manager. Nevertheless, Pochettino has kept a good chemistry with his players and Fernandez, which will help him stay the club for the long-term.
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