Enzo Fernandez has finally been pictured in a Chelsea kit after arriving at the club’s Cobham training ground and has decided to take an iconic shirt number.
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The Argentina international became the Premier League’s record signing after completing a £106.8million (€121m) move to Stamford Bridge on deadline day.
Benfica had been adamant the 22-year-old was not for sale, but Chelsea finally convinced them to cash in at around 10pm on Tuesday evening – giving them just two hours to finalise all the paperwork after submitting a deal sheet.
Such was the speed with which Chelsea had to wrap up the transfer, Fernandez underwent his medical in Lisbon and only flew to the UK late on Wednesday morning.
He has now filmed his first interview with the club’s media team and posed for photos in the club’s kit, while he has also chosen his new shirt number.
The No.24 holds a very special place in Fernandez’s heart given that he wore it during Argentina’s victorious World Cup campaign, but it is currently occupied by Reece James at Chelsea – so he had to look elsewhere.
He also wore No.13 for both Benfica and River Plate, but that is currently worn by third-choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.
Fernandez has therefore decided to don the No.5, which has only just been vacated by Jorginho – who left to join Arsenal on deadline day in a cut-price, £12million move.
The number is not believed to hold any sentimental value for Fernandez but it is a fitting choice for the Premier League’s most expensive ever player, having also been worn by Frank Leboeuf and Michael Essien.
In addition to undertaking his official unveiling photos at Cobham on Wednesday afternoon, Fernandez also met the club’s staff for the first time.
Fernandez’s transfer fee eclipses the £100m Manchester City spent on Jack Grealish in 2021 – which was the previous British record – and he is in line to make his debut in Chelsea’s next fixture at home to Fulham on Friday evening.
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