Chelsea: Enzo Fernandez price tag not of concern to Graham Potter as he defends transfer frenzy
The 22-year-old signed on deadline day for a record UK transfer from Benfica, signing an eight-and-a-half-year contract in the process.
Arriving in west London only on Wednesday afternoon, the midfielder is awaiting news of a work permit to see if he can face Fulham on Friday night.
Speaking ahead of the London derby at Stamford Bridge, Potter doesn’t think Fernandez’s price tag is much of a gamble because of his characteristics.
“We’re confident about the personality,” he told reporters. “It’s like anything: it’s still a young man, it’s still a young man who comes to this country. You have to adapt to the club.
“But we’re going to help him with that and his personality is one where you think, ‘Oh, I don’t have any worries for him.
“He’s a fighter. I think he understands how lucky he is. He fights for the team. He has courage, he is not afraid, he is open-minded.
“He wants to play football, he wants to improve. If you play as a No.6 for Argentina and you play the big games he played at his age, and with the quality he shows, it’s not easy to have those attributes.
Adding comments from pundits such as Danny Murphy that Chelsea overpaid for a player who has only made 17 European domestic appearances so far, Potter said: “I can understand that, absolutely. Every transfer is a bet.
“If you look at the market for midfield players – certainly midfield players who haven’t won the World Cup – you’ll be quoted a lot of money.
“We have a player with a huge personality. He played in midfield for Argentina who won the World Cup. He has attributes that can help him play in any league in the world.
“He has already played well in the Champions League. We followed him before the World Cup, we knew him anyway.
Chelsea were the envy of many in the footballing world after spending £611million on 17 players in the last two transfer windows under their new Boehly-Clearlake ownership.
They were, however, accused of having no plan and making foolish decisions after watching their squad grow to 33 players.
Potter accepts that some aspects of the situation are currently “sub-optimal”, but denies that the company has been “crazy” and thinks people will see longer-term results.
“I can understand the point of view. I don’t agree with that, but I understand it,” he said. “I think what we’ve tried to do is be creative. We’ve tried to invest in now and in the future. We’re in a position where we want to keep improving. is the ambition of the club.
“Lots of things have happened that make it suboptimal, let’s say that. But if I wanted a nice and easy life, I would have stayed in my previous jobs.
“The purpose of this opportunity was the challenge of trying to shape, help and support a football club through a fairly significant transition. That’s what it is.
“What we’ve done in this window is exciting, the players we have are exciting, you can see the direction we’re trying to go which is building for the future but at the same time a quality that can compete now. .
“I think it’s, and I’ll use the word again, it’s an exciting time for me. Even though the manual may say something different, things are never perfect and you just have to take it from there. best party.