- Argentine starred at Qatar 2022
- Named Young Player of the Tournament
- Told he still has much to prove
WHAT HAPPENED? It has been suggested that the Blues are willing to splash the cash on luring the World Cup-winning Argentina international away from Portuguese giants Benfica. Fernandez’s potential remains without question, on the back of landing the prestigious Young Player of the Tournament award at Qatar 2022, but he is just 21 years of age, with only half a season in European football under his belt, and Gallas feels Chelsea would be taking a serious gamble if they were to invest a nine-figure sum in adding the South American to their ranks.
WHAT THEY SAID: The former Blues defender – who won two Premier League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge – has told Genting Casino: "The question is if he is the right price. What he did in the World Cup for his age was brilliant, that’s why he was voted the best young player in the tournament. I didn't know he was so young. He was playing like an experienced senior player. He played as if he had played in a World Cup before and played with a lot of personality. So it's very good to see a player like him. Even if he's a world champion, I don't know if he is worth that value.
"For me, I don't have a problem with the price of the players. I just have a problem with the price of the players who haven’t proved themselves. Every player can have one great season. The most difficult thing is to have the second great season in a row, then the third and the fourth. It is only then that you can put the price on these players, but straight away after two games, to put a price like this? I know it's the market but the club has to be careful. You can’t put a price of 120m on one player like this and you don't know if he is going to have a good season in the Premier League because it is a different league if you have to compare it with Spain. Chelsea have to be careful. I think they have made a mistake like this already."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Fernandez only joined Benfica from River Plate in the summer of 2022 and has taken in just 25 appearances for the club this season, with three goals recorded across those outings.
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WHAT NEXT? Fernandez did impress alongside Lionel Messi and Co at Qatar 2022, as Argentina swept their way to ultimate glory, and Chelsea are considered to be in need of long-term reinforcements to a midfield engine room that has struggled to drive the club forward in what has been an inconsistent Premier League campaign.