By Jaime Spencer
Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez made his full debut in the West London derby against Fulham at Stamford Bridge, less than three days after becoming the most expensive player in British football history earlier in the week.
Fernandez, who has been given the number five shirt vacated at Chelsea by Jorginho, completed a £107million deal from Benfica in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The 22-year-old has had a rousing few months which have included a move from River Plate to Europe, winning the World Cup with Argentina and being named young player of the tournament.
Rather than be left out of the spotlight as he settles in, Fernandez has been thrown straight into the deep end, lining up in midfield alongside Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount.
Speaking in the wake of the transfer, Chelsea manager Graham Potter had expressed doubts that all the paperwork would be in order for Fernandez to be able to play so soon. But that clearly wasn’t a problem once Fernandez was named in the starting XI.
“I am grateful to Chelsea and their ownership for doing everything possible to make me part of this project,” Fernandez said of his transfer.
“I am delighted and excited to be joining Pride of London, playing in the best league in the world and competing for the biggest trophies. I can’t wait to play in front of our fans and help my team-mates on and off the pitch.”
The Fulham match also marks the first Chelsea start for £89m winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who made his debut as a substitute in a 35-minute cameo against Liverpool earlier this month.
Hakim Ziyech was also a bizarre starter, despite being on the verge of joining Paris Saint-Germain on a transfer deadline day and still having permission to explore an exit.
In this edition of Son of Chelsea, part of the 90 Minutes podcast network, Daniel Childs previews Friday night’s Premier League match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge. If you can’t see this embed, click Here to listen to the podcast!
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Enzo Fernandez handed full debut at Chelsea.
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