Enzo Fernandez Admits Sleepless Nights Over Transfer From Benfica to Chelsea

Enzo Fernandez Admits Sleepless Nights Over Transfer From Benfica to Chelsea

Elijah Odetokun
updated at July 28, 2023 at 8:09 AM
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  • Chelsea signed 2022 World Cup winner, Enzo Fernandez from Benfica on deadline day in January
  • The Blues paid a club record and a league record fee of £106.8m for the Argentine midfielder
  • Fernandez has opened up about his emotions during the month-long negotiations

Chelsea record signing, Enzo Fernandez has detailed what was going through his mind during the protracted negotiations over his move from Benfica to Chelsea on the January transfer window deadline day.

Fernandez had just enjoyed a successful 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar with Argentina and was named the tournament's Best Young Player, which made the Blues move fast to sign him, hoping to avoid competition in the summer.

Benfica president, Rui Costa was adamant about a release clause or nothing, but the Premier League side's team of negotiators, led by co-owner Behdad Eghbali, insisted on paying a little higher to allow them to pay in installments for FFP reasons.

Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea, Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League, Stamford Bridge.
Enzo Fernandez walks off the pitch disappointed after Chelsea's Champions League elimination to Real Madrid. Photo by Soccrates.
Source: Getty Images

The Guardian reported that a deal was struck for £106.8m, which allows for a better payment structure, and the player flew to London on a standby private jet to complete the move.

Fernandez admits to sleepless nights

The 22-year-old slotted into the midfield seamlessly, and despite a troubled year at Stamford Bridge, he stood out and received plaudits from fans and football analysts.

It's now another transfer window, and with the club going after Brighton's Moises Caicedo to complement their record signing, Enzo opened up on what it was like.

"It was a very intense week. The negotiations were very long. There were a lot of obstacles," he told BR Football. "Benfica didn't want me to leave, and I have to say that it was a very stressful week, one that took a lot out of me psychologically.
"It all turned out the way you would want, and I was able to make that jump to play in the Premier League at a huge club like Chelsea who gave me the jump."
"It's true there were some days and hours where I couldn't sleep, anxious, not knowing what would happen, but at the end of the day, it was all worth it, and I'm really enjoying myself at the moment."

The Athletic reported that Brighton rejected Chelsea's fourth bid of £75m plus £5m for Caicedo last night. The Ecuadorian is seen as a perfect partner for Fernandez in midfield.

Fernandez singled out for praise

Sports Brief reported that fans singled out Fernandez for praise after he stood up to Manchester United players for excessive celebrations after their third goal.

The Red Devils gave the Blues a thumping 4-1 defeat, but the Argentine's performance in midfield and show of leadership stood out for the fans.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.