Chelsea’s new club-record signing Enzo Fernandez will reportedly start for the Blues on Friday against Fulham – providing Graham Potter’s side have his work permit signed by 4pm. The Argentine international midfielder is now officially the most expensive player in the history of the Premier League and his top-flight bow could be imminent, just days after signing from Benfica in a blockbuster £107million deal.
Chelsea grafted for virtually the entire window to try and sign the 22-year-old maestro before eventually striking an agreement in the final hours before the deadline.
But once Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali agreed to pay the money Benfica desired, a deal was completed at rapid speed as Fernandez underwent his medical checks in Lisbon.
The big-spending Blues then welcomed Fernandez to London on Wednesday when he completed his club media work before being unveiled as the club’s new No 5.
According to Argentina national team reporter Gaston Edul of TyC Sports, Fernandez will start for Chelsea against Fulham on Friday evening – providing his work permit is signed before 4pm.
READ MORE: Chelsea completed second discreet deadline day signing in addition to Enzo Fernandez
His last appearance for Benfica came against Pacos Ferreira on January 26 in which he played 90 minutes – meaning he is fit and raring to go in his new colours.
Understandably, Fernandez was not part of The Eagles’ side that beat Arouca 3-0 on transfer deadline day as he closed in on his dream move to the Premier League.
Potter does not yet know whether Fernandez will be able to make his debut but with Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Denis Zakaria all missing through injury – he is very much needed in the middle of the park.
“We’ll see,” Potter said on Thursday, when quizzed on whether Fernandez will be involved. “We’ve got to go through the paperwork and get the clearance and all that.”
The Chelsea boss also admitted it was very much touch and go on deadline day, as he awaited positive news on a deal for Fernandez.
“I’m the head coach so I don’t get too involved in the nitty gritty of Deadline Day,” he added. “I am focused on the next day’s training and preparing the team for Fulham.
“I’ve been involved too long to know that there are some things you can’t control and I couldn’t do anything at that point to change things. I found out when it was done and I’m very pleased, because [Fernandez] is a fantastic player.
“My Spanish isn’t great and his English isn’t great, but we’ll get there. He is an impressive young man and we’re looking forward to working with him.”