Chelsea Find Form Without Fernandez: Blessing in Disguise?

Enzo Fernandez’s £106 million arrival at Chelsea was met with high expectations. However, his season has been hampered by a hernia injury, leading him to undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the club campaign. While his absence was initially seen as a blow, Chelsea’s recent form has sparked debate: are they thriving despite Fernandez, or simply adapting without him?

Fernandez’s Struggles and Chelsea’s Slump

Reports suggest Fernandez had been playing through the pain since December. This impacted his performances, coinciding with a dip in Chelsea’s form. The Blues found themselves inconsistent, culminating in a heavy defeat to Arsenal.

Tactical Shift and Resurgence

With Fernandez sidelined, manager Mauricio Pochettino was forced to adapt. His solution involved deploying Marc Cucurella, a natural left-back, as a player pushing in to the midfield when Chelsea were out of possession. This solidified the center of the pitch and allowed Conor Gallagher to push forward with more freedom and continue a high press that has been helping Chelsea win the ball back in great opportunities.

The impact was immediate. Chelsea won a handful of games and have been on one of their best runs this season, showcasing a newfound defensive solidity and attacking purpose. This resurgence has led some to question Fernandez’s immediate role upon his return.

Is Chelsea Better Off Without Fernandez?

It’s too early to say definitively. While Chelsea have found a winning formula, Fernandez’s talent is undeniable. His creativity and passing range were crucial to his early success at the club.

Looking Ahead: A Positive Future?

Fernandez’s injury might prove to be a blessing in disguise. It has allowed Pochettino to experiment and discover a new tactical approach. Upon Fernandez’s return, he could slot back in alongside a more defensively sound midfield, maximizing his attacking potential. Chelsea’s recent success suggests they can compete even without Fernandez, but his return alongside a resurgent squad could propel them to the next level.