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How many professional soccer matches has Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernández played?

Enzo Fernández made his Premier League debut for Chelsea against Fulham on Friday after his big-money move from Benfica.

Enzo Fernández makes his Premier League debut for Chelsea against Fulham on Friday after his big-money move from Benfica.

Argentina’s World Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernández made his debut for Chelsea against Fulham in the Premier League on Friday just days after becoming the most expensive in the history of English soccer. A fact which, for some, still defies logic, despite the success he has had in his short career. Despite an impressive, all-action performance in the first half in particular, the Argentine was unable to inspire his new team to victory, with the Cottagers holding out for a goalless draw.

A protracted transfer saga ended up with Chelsea paying Benfica €121 million – a quite literal fortune – for a young man who was voted the best young player at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, an impressive feat considering that, with just three caps to his name, he was by no means considered a regular started going into the tournament.

Admiring glances had, however, already been cast in Fernández’s direction even before his exploits in the Middle East, as he had enjoyed an excellent start to the season with Benfica, who he only joined in the summer of 2022. The hype surrounding the 22-year-old snowballed after Argentina had won a couple of matches in the World Cup but the Portuguse giants still probably thought that nobody would be willing to pay a huge buy-out clause for a player who, quite frankly, had hardly played any games in his career, in relative terms. They thought wrong.

How many professional club matches has Enzo Fernández played?

Fernández came through the academy at River Plate but made his debut on loan at smaller Buenos Aires club Defensa y Justicia, for whom he played 32 times in all competitions in 2020 and the start of 2021.

His form there earned him a recall to his parent club and he first appeared for River in July 2021. He would go on to play 40 matches in the Argentinian Premier League and 53 times in total.

It didn’t take long for Fernández to attract attention of European eyes and it was Benfica who pounced last June, signing the midfielder for a reported for of €10 million plus €8 million in add-ons. River Plate kept a 25% sell-on clause, a wise move.

Enzo Fernández's senior appearances and goals.
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Enzo Fernández's senior appearances and goals.

Enzo Fernández’s accolades in short spell at Benfica

Fernández’s debut in Portugal came in August 2022 and incredibly he would go on to win the Primeria Liga player of the month in three of the four months that he spent at the club. He played just 29 games for Benfica – including nine in the Champions League, including qualifiers – before leaving for Chelsea, his transfer value having supposedly increased by around €111 million (€103 million if you count add-ons) in the space of just a few months.

After 32 appearances for Defensa y Justicia, 53 for River Plate, 29 for Benfica and 10 for Argentina, Fernández, the fifth-most expensive player of all time – played just the 125th match of his career for Chelsea against Fulham.