Marc Cucurella acknowledged that he had to seek up Enzo Fernandez after seeing him do well at the FIFA World Cup.
Fernandez was one of the breakout stars at the 2022 World Cup, winning the young player of the tournament award as Argentina lifted the trophy for the first time since 1986. Following his stunning performances in Qatar, the midfielder was snapped up by Chelsea for a British record £106.8m.
As well as the club itself, Fernandez impressed plenty of his future Chelsea teammates with his star turns during the World Cup, with Cucurella admitting he didn’t know who the midfielder was when he caught the Spaniard’s eye during the tournament.
“I liked to watch matches in which my friends were playing, so I was watching Argentina because of Alexis [Mac Allister]. I think I said, ‘I really like number 24, he’s very good!’ But I didn’t even know where he played! I had to go and search on my phone!” Cucurella told ESPN Sports Center.
“As I watched more games, I told my family and friends that I really liked him a lot. And then he came to Chelsea! I told Enzo that I had liked him at the World Cup. He’s a good guy, I’m waiting for him to cook me a BBQ.
“He is very young, but he is very talented with the ball and he is intelligent. He’s still adapting but he’s already played some good games. We have [signed] a great midfielder.”
Is Enzo Fernandez worth a British record fee?
The whopping £106.8m fee that Chelsea eventually paid for Enzo Fernandez’s services after weeks of gruelling negotiations certainly shocked most pundits and fans alike.
However, in the small sample size we’ve seen of the midfielder in Portugal, where he played 29 games, with Argentina at the World Cup, and in his nine appearances so far for Chelsea, it’s clear to see he could be more than worth every penny in years to come.
With the right midfield partner at his side – likely to be N’Golo Kante when he returns from another lengthy injury lay-off – Fernandez has the capacity to be Chelsea’s creator-in-chief in the middle of the park, and one of the best midfielders in the world.