Schmidt hits out at Fernandez: 'We need players who are happy to play'

Karan Tejwani
Karan Tejwani
  • 1 Feb 2023 21:10 GMT
  • 2 min read
Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea, 2022/23

Benfica coach Roger Schmidt has spoken about Enzo Fernandez’s transfer to Chelsea and says he only wants players who are happy to play for the club.

Fernandez moved to Chelsea after a long transfer negotiation that spanned over the month and despite the move looking unlikely earlier in January, it has now been completed.

The move ended up being a British transfer record and given he only played for Benfica for five months, the club made a massive profit on his sale.

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Now, Schmidt has spoken about his transfer and suggested Fernandez wanted to leave the Lisbon club for Chelsea in the Premier League.

Schmidt hits out at Fernandez

“Benfica is much bigger than one single player. We need players who are happy to play for Benfica, who are passionate to play for Benfica,” Schmidt said about the transfer.

“If a player decides for himself to leave and there is a club who pays the clause then we cannot do anything,” the German coach added.

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Fernandez had a starring role at the World Cup for Argentina where he was named the Young Player of the Tournament and that only increased the interest in him.

Chelsea were eager to get a deal for him over the line to avoid any competition in the summer and worked extensively over the last days of the window to get the transfer sorted.

It’s reported that they were in talks with Benfica for over 12 hours on deadline day and only got the deal done after the final minutes of the window.

Fernandez’s transfer came at a total of €121 million – over his release clause at Benfica, and he signed an eight-and-a-half-year deal at the London club.

He was officially announced as a Chelsea player on Wednesday evening and will wear the number five shirt at the Blues this season.