Can Enzo Fernandez be the creator-in-chief Chelsea needs?

Chelsea (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /
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Mykhaylo Mudryk of Chelsea, Enzo Fernandez of Chelsea and Reece James of Chelsea (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images) /

Even Michael Olise for Crystal Palace completed 1.74 passes into the area per 90, and while that is not objectively high, it’s 5% of his passes – a relatively high percentage of his completed passes, that are going into the box. Fernandez completed more passes per 90 than all the above mentioned players (73.8), and only completed 1.45 passes into the penalty area , which accounts for 2% of his completed passes. Even if you factor in the fact that he’s not an advanced central midfielder, it’s still considerably low for someone who many are insisting should be able to carry the creative load for a team of Chelsea’s stature.

It’s slightly unfair to him to make sweeping conclusions about his ability to be chief creator based on this, but even looking at other more direct metrics like key passes from long balls, Fernandez does not look stellar there either. Toni Kroos, who the former is said to be stylistically similar to, while he also doesn’t make many passes into the area, he comes out top-3 in key passes from long passes, which is a metric you’d expect the former Benfica midfielder to excel in, considering his passing prowess. Kroos completed 1 key pass from long balls per 90, Fernandez by comparison completed 0.25.

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To avoid misunderstanding, it should be noted that this piece is not trying to disprove Fernandez’s role to the team, as the Argentine is essential to Chels‘, however, not as main creator. He is good as a deep-lying creator to keep play going and get the ball as far up the pitch as quickly as possible, when the need arises. Fernandez cannot be, and should not be, tasked with playing the role Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne play for their respective clubs, and the Blues need that chief creator.