• Enzo Fernandez moved from Benfica to Chelsea
  • Chelsea paid record Premier League fee for Fernandez
  • Fernandez was the Young Player of the Tournament at Qatar World Cup

Chelsea signed Argentina's World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez on the deadline day for a Premier League record transfer fee Tuesday.

Chelsea paid Benfica $132 million as they signed the central midfielder on an eight-and-a-half-year contract, valid till 2031. The deal surpassed Manchester City's transfer fee of $123 million that they paid for Jack Grealish in 2021.

Fernandez, who had not played for Argentina's senior side until September 2022, went on to be one of their best players in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later that year as Lionel Messi and Co clinched the trophy after beating France in the final.

From the final group stage game against Poland, Fernandez made it to Argentina's starting XI in their remaining outings in Qatar, as he went on to clinch the Young Player of the Tournament trophy.

Soon after the tournament ended, many top European clubs began to approach Benfica for Fernandez, including Chelsea and Liverpool. The Argentinian midfielder had joined the Portuguese club in the 2022 summer from River Plate. Fernandez netted a goal and five assists in 17 league appearances for Benfica before leaving, as the Lisbon-based club is 10 points clear at the top of the table.

The 22-year-old midfielder has made a massive impact since his senior debut in the 2019-20 season for River Plate. A year later, Fernandez joined Defensa y Justicia on loan and returned to River Plate, only to impress under boss Marcelo Gallardo with 10 goals in 28 games in 2022.

Ahead of the 2022-23 season, Benfica landed Fernandez, and gave him the No. 13 shirt previously worn by club legend Eusebio. The Argentina national was named the best midfielder in Portugal's top flight by Liga BWIN head coaches in August, October and November. Fernandez also played a key role in Benfica topping their UEFA Champions League group ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus and reaching the knockout stages.

Chelsea have had a struggling 2022-23 season as they are currently in 10th place in the Premier League table. While they are also out of the domestic Cup competitions, the Blues are still alive in the Champions League. Head Coach Graham Potter will hope to see his side's fortunes change following the arrival of Fernandez, along with a few other new signings in the winter window.

Is Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez on his way to Chelsea?

Fernandez, who is a right-footed central midfielder, is known for his versatile nature. He is quick, an active passer who dominates with his dribbles has brilliant control of the ball, and also has the skill set to be a playmaker who not only creates chances but also scores himself.

Chelsea's upcoming match is a home league game against Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Friday.