Enzo Fernandez sends message to Chelsea over permanent Joao Felix transfer

Enzo Fernandez wants Chelsea to sign Joao Felix on a permanent transfer and has urged the club’s fans to be patient and ‘trust’ the Graham Potter project.

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A section of the fan base at Stamford Bridge have already turned on Potter, who replaced Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel earlier in the season, and want the former Brighton boss sacked.

Chelsea have won just nine of their 25 games under Potter, slipping to 10th in the Premier League and losing the first leg of their Champions League knockout game against Borussia Dortmund.

The club’s struggles come despite American owner Todd Boehly spending almost £600m on new signings over the last two transfer windows.

Chelsea record signing Fernandez admits the team’s form is not good enough but has ‘encouraged’ fans to be patient and stick by under-fire Potter.

‘When you get that amount of young lads – and we’ve all had 20 days to get to know each other on and off the field – when you’re talking about the standard of football here in the Premier League it’s hard to gel as a team,’ he told The Times.

‘My message would be to the fans: trust the players, trust the backroom staff, trust the manager, because we are all moving in the same direction.

‘We have got a lot of new faces here and it is a restructuring of the club, really, and the playing staff. I would encourage them to be patient.

‘We know it’s a tough standard. But we’ve been given all the tools we need by the coaching staff and the manager here. It’s just a case of being patient and we will get to know each other.’

Fernandez became the most expensive signing in Premier League history when he completed a £107m move to Chelsea in January.

The former Benfica midfielder was one of a number of new faces to arrive at Stamford Bridge, with Atletico Madrid forward Felix also joining on loan.

Felix was sent off on his Premier League debut but has impressed since serving his suspension and Fernandez hopes the Portugal forward stays at Chelsea beyond the end of his loan spell.

There is no obligation for Chelsea to sign Felix on a permanent deal and the 23-year-old extended his Atletico contract until June 2027 before moving to west London.

However, Chelsea will consider a permanent offer for Felix if he continues to impress and the player is open to staying at Stamford Bridge, having fallen out of favour under Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.

‘When you get on with someone off the field it helps on the field to have that special connection,’ Fernandez said of Felix.

‘He’s a great player, isn’t he? A fantastic player. He’s got lots of ability and loads of qualities.

‘He’s a key player for us, an important player and he’s on loan. Let’s hope that Chelsea can do all they can to keep hold of him come June, that would be great.’

Argentina World Cup winner Fernandez has also dismissed concerns his sensational price-tag could effect him at Chelsea and says he wants to be a ‘leader’ at Stamford Bridge.

‘The amount of money that is paid is nothing to do with me,’ the 22-year-old added. ‘My job is to go out on the field and give my best at all times.

‘I know I’m still young and I need to keep learning, but at some point in the future, maybe tomorrow, maybe at some point in the future, I want to really demonstrate that I’m a leader both in the group off the field but on the field as well.’

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