EPL

Fernandez thanks Chelsea for 'doing everything' to complete record transfer

By Sports Desk February 01, 2023

Enzo Fernandez declared his gratitude to Chelsea after his move to the Premier League club was finally formally announced on Wednesday.

World Cup winner Fernandez emerged as a key target for big-spending Chelsea early in January, but it appeared the player would be staying at Benfica after the two clubs failed to agree a deal.

Chelsea did not give up on their man, however, and Tuesday's deadline day saw an agreement reached with Benfica to pay Fernandez's £106.8million (€121m) release clause.

The transfer, which Benfica announced before Chelsea officially unveiled their latest buy on Wednesday, is the most expensive ever by a British club.

Fernandez acknowledged the Blues' long and determined pursuit of his services as he said upon signing: "I am grateful to Chelsea and its ownership for doing everything they could to make me a part of this project.

"I'm happy and excited to join the Pride of London, to play in the best league in the world and to compete 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."

Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali added: "In Enzo, we are signing a World Cup winner and one of the brightest talents in global football.

"We are excited to add him to Graham [Potter]'s squad, and we are sure he will form an important part of our team going forward.

"Enzo has demonstrated his ability at the very highest levels, so we're looking forward to seeing what he will do in Chelsea blue."

Related items

  • Philippe Clement urges Rangers to embrace intense environment of run-in Philippe Clement urges Rangers to embrace intense environment of run-in

    Philippe Clement has told his off-form Rangers players they must embrace an intense environment where results dictate whether they go to “heaven or hell”.

    The Gers were widely lauded after a consistent run of form that saw them wipe out Celtic’s eight-point advantage at the top of the cinch Premiership to briefly take over at the summit in February.

    However, they go into this Sunday’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final against on-song Hearts having been ferociously criticised after slip-ups away to Ross County and Dundee over the past week left them with just two wins from their last eight games in all competitions and their title hopes hanging by a thread.

    “If you win 10 games in a row, you have more belief than when you lose two times but this is Rangers, this is a club where you always have to fight,” said Clement.

    “Every point you lose, it’s like you’re going to hell. That’s this world, and that’s good. That’s also the challenge and it’s interesting to see which players can live in that way.

    “But it’s an exciting place to be because on the other side you can go also to heaven when you win games and when you win trophies.

    “In other teams, where it’s not so important to win points or when it’s not something dramatic when you lose points, you cannot go to heaven also because those are not the clubs that win trophies. This is something you need to embrace.”

    Clement insists he is comfortable with the intense scrutiny and criticism he has faced amid Rangers’ recent “bumps in the road”.

    “I know it’s part of the job,” he said. “I’ve been now more than 30 years in this world and I’ve been buried a lot of times as a player and as a manager, so I know what I’m doing in a club. I know what I’m doing in this club. I know we are on the right road together.”

    Clement described the demands of being in charge of Rangers as similar to managing former club Brugge in his homeland.

    “Winning, becoming champion, is the only thing that counts,” he said. “But I’ve been like that all my life. There is nobody who can be more critical than me because I want to win everything.

    “Everybody who knows me from when I was a child, whether it was basketball, tennis or table tennis or whatever sport, I want to win. I made a lot of fights with my wife about that, that I wanted that mentality with my children because I did it with them also.

    “If I played a game with them and they were three years old, I wanted to win. That is the mentality that is necessary in a club like this, but you need to embrace that.

    “It’s also because of that that you can be successful and you can win trophies and have these exciting moments that will stay with you for the rest of your life. That is what Rangers is about and that’s why I love to be here.”

    Clement galvanised Rangers earlier in the season after replacing Michael Beale in October.

    Asked what he would say to supporters who fear the resurgence is fizzling out, the Belgian said: “The same thing I said in October. I think this team since October did improve in results, in attitude and resilience, and in six months they proved it several times.

    “So it’s there, they can do it. They’ve shown it several times with quality. That’s what they need to do again. So, yes, my belief is there 200 per cent.”

  • Hamstring operation puts Nathan Patterson’s Euro 2024 hopes in doubt Hamstring operation puts Nathan Patterson’s Euro 2024 hopes in doubt

    Nathan Patterson’s Euro 2024 hopes have suffered a major blow after the Scotland and Everton right-back was told he needs an operation.

    Patterson has been ruled out for the rest of the domestic season after suffering a hamstring injury against Chelsea on Monday.

    The news will be a serious concern for Scotland head coach Steve Clarke, who also has a major doubt over Brentford right-back Aaron Hickey’s fitness.

    Everton manager Sean Dyche said: “Patto will be out for the season, he will need surgery. It’s a very unfortunate injury. We’re disappointed in that one, for him as much as us as well.

    “It’s a shame for Patto, he came on and looked sharp the other night, he’s been training really well, just getting back to where I think he can be – because I think he’s a very good player – and he’s very unfortunate with a really awkward fall.

    “He won’t make another game this season, I’m sure.”

    When asked about Patterson’s hopes of playing in the European Championship, Dyche said: “I don’t know on the medical side of the times other than this season, as in playing for us.

    “But he will have surgery, so we hope that goes well and then it’s how quickly it settles, I’m sure.”

    Hickey has not played since October – he also suffered a hamstring injury at Stamford Bridge – and is unlikely to play for Brentford again this season, but has not given up hope of making the Euros.

    Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston has been in recent squads while versatile Bristol City player Ross McCrorie, who has featured at right-back in his career, was also a late call-up recently.

    Clarke suffered a major blow earlier in the week when it was revealed that in-form Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson had suffered cruciate ligament damage, ruling him out of the summer tournament in Germany.

    There was better news for Clarke from Norwich this week when it was revealed Grant Hanley is expected to return to training next week.

    The defender pulled out of the Scotland squad for recent friendlies against Netherlands and Northern Ireland after suffering a setback following his recent return from a long-term Achilles injury.

  • John O’Shea could stay as interim Ireland boss as permanent appointment delayed John O’Shea could stay as interim Ireland boss as permanent appointment delayed

    John O’Shea could remain interim Republic of Ireland manager after the Football Association of Ireland revealed Stephen Kenny’s permanent successor may not be in place until September.

    The 42-year-old former Manchester United and Ireland defender took charge of March’s friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland as officials continued their search for a replacement for Kenny, who lost his job in November.

    However, director of football Marc Canham, who said last month the new manager would be announced “in early April”, confirmed on Friday the recruitment process was ongoing and could be for some time yet.

    Canham told FAI TV: “Realistically we’re looking now towards the UEFA Nations League with our first game against England in September and that’s what we’re aiming to do.

    “We recognise that the timelines and deadlines that we’ve previously set have created a sense of expectation and potentially confusion for everyone.

    “In hindsight, we would maybe not set those deadlines if we were to do this again and absolutely just commit to trying to find the best person and take as long as that should take, and that’s our aim.

    “We recognise and apologise for that, but we’re also confident that ultimately we believe this process will result in us finding the best person for the job.”

    Canham revealed talks with O’Shea, who has indicated he would like to be considered as a candidate for the permanent role, over an extension to his interim spell to cover June’s friendlies against Hungary and Portugal were under way.

    He said: “In the two June friendlies, the expectation now is that we will have an interim head coach whilst we continue the search for a permanent head coach for September. We would like that to be John O’Shea.

    “We were very pleased with what he did in the March friendlies and we’re talking to him at the moment. We’re hoping to be able to confirm that as soon as possible.”

    England Under-21s coach Lee Carsley, who was the FAI’s preferred candidate, has ruled himself out of the race, while Neil Lennon has been told he will not be getting the job and Gus Poyet, Chris Coleman and Chris Hughton have all be touted for the post.

    However despite discussions between the association and a series of candidates, an appointment is yet to be made and Canham, who along with president Paul Cooke, interim chief executive David Courell and board member Packie Bonner has been handed the task of identifying the new manager, acknowledged mounting frustration among fans.

    He said: “We have many great memories of our men’s national team competing at major tournaments and that’s what we want in the future and that’s why we are taking our absolute time and doing our very best and are determined to find the best person to help make sure we have future memories of that, of qualifying for major tournaments.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.