World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez has been tipped to leave Chelsea “if it carries on like this” at Stamford Bridge as he won’t “hang around”.
The talented midfielder shone for Argentina at last year’s World Cup as he helped them to win the tournament for only the third time in their history.
Portuguese side Benfica signed Fernandez during the summer transfer window in 2022 for less than £10m before selling him to Chelsea for over £100m six months later.
Liverpool were reportedly interested in signing Fernandez ahead of his move to Stamford Bridge but Chelsea ended up winning the race to sign him.
Fernandez has arguably been Chelsea’s standout player over the past nine months while the majority of his teammates have struggled.
The Blues have spent over £1bn on signings since Todd Boehly’s takeover was completed last year but they finished 12th last season and they have won just one of their first six Premier League games so far this campaign.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Brighton in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday night, former Arsenal forward Paul Merson warned the Blues that Fernandes will not “hang around” if their struggles continue.
“My worry would be Enzo Fernandez,” Merson said on Sky Sports. “I don’t think he hangs around. I think if it carries on like it is, £100 million player and a World Cup-winner.
“These players don’t want to play middle-of-the-table football. They don’t. They have got the money. They want to win trophies. That’s what it’s all about, winning trophies. They all get big money now.”
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino recently explained why he has decided against giving Fernandez the captain’s armband at the start of this season.
“Thiago is an experienced player that doesn’t need the armband,” said Pochettino.
“Then I think it’s important to build something for the future. Not only the present but the future. He is there and the captain is not only to put the armband on your arm.
“To clarify, I think maybe it was Thiago to give it to Enzo but Enzo is still struggling with his English. If we need to communicate with the referee and everything I think Conor can perfectly do the job and for me I prefer Conor than Enzo because I think Conor can speak normally, English.
“I think Enzo is still not ready to be a captain. It is not only because of character or personality or profile. It’s about you need to communicate with the people and if you don’t manage still the language properly you cannot be captain no? I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong but it’s my opinion.”