Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez reveals he will play in a more advanced position for Mauricio Pochettino this season – as he prepares to don the famous No 8 jersey made famous by club legend Frank Lampard
Enzo Fernandez has confirmed that he will take up a more advanced position in the Chelsea set-up this season, as he also looks to play in a new shirt number.
Fernandez wore No. 5 for the first few months since his £107m arrival from Benfica, but after Mateo Kovacic swapped Chelsea for Manchester City, the Argentinian central midfielder will now become the new No. 8 for the Blues, previously adorned by club legend Frank Lampard.
It mirrors the more advanced role Fernandez is set to play for Chelsea in the forthcoming season, beginning at home to Liverpool on Sunday, with Mauricio Pochettino tasked at bringing success back to Stamford Bridge after a dismal campaign last term.
Fernandez told ESPN in Argentina that talks with Pochettino had cleared the air and confirmed his new role within Chelsea’s set-up. Fernandez said: ‘We talked a little bit about everything, where I felt most comfortable, everything.
‘The truth is that yes, I like to play loose, and the function that I am going to fulfill this year is going to be that, playing double five but a little looser, trying not to have the responsibility I had last season, playing five alone.
Enzo Fernandez says he will play in a more advanced midfield position for Chelsea this season
The Argentinian star will be the new No. 8 for the Blues, previously worn by Frank Lampard
‘Now, with a five more next to me, obviously I will have much more freedom, but without detracting from the position, in the sense that I also have to defend, we have to help the team in that way.’
Back in June, Fernandez’s father spoke about his son’s desire for a more advanced role at Chelsea.
Fernandez also spoke about the new shirt number too. He told ESPN: ‘Before I had said that it was a number that identified me as a boy, I always used it playing baby. It’s a number that I like a lot, I have it tattooed, and that’s more why I asked for it, because I like it.
‘I didn’t get a chance to talk to Frank that he was going to use the number, but I do know the history he demands and everything he’s achieved throughout his career here at Chelsea. To be able to get to that for me is also a very big challenge.’
Pochettino is tasked with resetting the players’ mindsets after a disappointing season at Stamford Bridge. Turbulence on and off the pitch contributed to the west London outfit recording their worst league finish in 30 years when they ended the season in 12th spot.
Fernandez plans shirt swap with national teammate Alexis Mac Allister after Liverpool game
Their new campaign starts against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon – and Fernandez already has plans to swap shirts with fellow Argentine Alexis Mac Allister, who will be making his competitive debut for the Reds.
Fernandez said: ‘We know that Liverpool have been winning the Champions League for a long time, being at the top of the Premier League.
‘We know it’s a very big club, with great players, but we think about ourselves, about doing our job in the best way.
‘We know that it is always important to win the first date, which gives you a lot of confidence, we also play in our stadium, and the game will be very important, it will demand a lot from the emotional and physical.’