Benfica president Rui Costa has criticized Enzo Fernandez for forcing his way out of the club, revealing that the player refused to stay after Chelsea showed interest.
Graham Potter’s side splurged a British record £107 million to sign 2022 FIFA World Cup winner Fernandez from Benfica on deadline day (31 January). The Argentine central midfielder had only joined the Eagles in the summer and had four-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.
Having lost the World Cup winner, Benfica boss Costa has disclosed the manner of Fernandez’s departure, confirming that the 21-year-old forced the club’s hand to sell. At a press conference, he said (via Fabrizio Romano):
“Enzo Fernández did not want to stay at Benfica. He didn’t give us any chance. I did my best, I’m sad but I’m not gonna cry for a player who didn’t want to stay.
“When Chelsea arrived, it was really impossible to change his mind.”
Costa further revealed that Benfica had found an agreement to sell Fernandez to the Blues in the summer, but the player wanted an immediate switch.
“During the Deadline Day we found an agreement to sell Enzo to Chelsea in the summer but he didn’t want to stay,” he added.
“At that point I said: he can’t play for Benfica anymore, no way. I don’t cry for players who doesn’t want to wear our shirt.”
Fernandez featured in 29 games for Benfica in the 2022-23 season, scoring four times and providing seven assists across competitions.
The Argentinian, who scored once and claimed an assist in seven games as La Albiceleste won the World Cup in Qatar, was chosen as the Young Player of the Tournament.
Chelsea star Mykhailo Mudryk’s former coach believes the player could have fit in better at Arsenal
Arsenal were on Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk’s tail all winter, while the player had also hinted that he would welcome a move to north London. The Premier League leaders, however, failed to reach an agreement with Shakhtar Donetsk, giving the Pensioners the opening to swoop in and prize Mudryk away.
Chelsea splurged a whopping £89 million to complete the signing, tying him down to an eight-and-a-half-year contract (June 2023).
Andreas Carrasco, who coached the 22-year-old at Shakhtar U19, has given his opinion about Mudryk’s switch to west London. He has claimed that while it is great for the left-winger to be in such a growth-oriented atmosphere, Arsenal’s playing style would have suited him better.
In a recent interview, Carrasco said (via Tribuna):
“Chelsea is a club that has been changing recently. But it is good for Mudryk to be in a club that always expects maximum results. Now, he needs to go through a period of adaptation. And only time will tell if it was the right decision for him or not.
“Today, Arsenal, with its style of play, could be more suitable for Mudryk, who successfully uses dribbling and plays one-on-one. It would be better for him, in my opinion.”
Mudryk, who made his Chelsea debut in a goalless draw with Liverpool on 21 January, is expected to make his full Premier League debut against Fulham on 3 February.