- Fernandez posts emotional message
- Leaves Benfica after half a season
- But was full of praise for Portuguese club
WHAT HAPPENED? After it was confirmed that Chelsea had secured the signing of Enzo Fernandez on transfer deadline day in yet another mammoth deal done by the club, the Argentine midfielder said his goodbyes to Benfica and their fans with a departing message.
WHAT THEY SAID: Posting on his Instagram, Fernandez wrote: "Thank you very much, Benfica fans. My family and I are grateful for all the affection received in these five months, I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, where I enjoyed every moment to the fullest and always gave my best.
"May the press not tarnish what we built together because it was something wonderful that I had never imagined. Thank you to everyone who works to make the institution even greater than it is. Thank you to my colleagues for always treating me in the best way and make me feel at home. Thanks to the club's management and especially to Roger Schmidt and his entire team for their trust and daily respect. I was very happy. Thank you, I carry Benfica forever in my heart."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 22-year-old finally got his move to Stamford Bridge over the line after days of negotiation that would end up going right down to the wire on deadline day. Fernandez eventually became a Chelsea player, moving for a British record £106.8 million ($130.5m) fee and penning an eight-and-a-half year deal, similar to the lengthy contracts issued to Mykailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile and others.
Having held interest at the beginning of January, Chelsea stepped away from their pursuit of the World Cup's Young Player of the Tournament before returning late on in the window, but eventually got the deal done.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR FERNANDEZ? With their new star boy in, Chelsea fans are understandably desperate to see him take to the field on Friday night against Fulham.