Enzo Fernandez sends clear Chelsea message to Enzo Maresca with injury return

Enzo Fernandez
-Credit: (Image: Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

Chelsea star Enzo Fernandez featured for the first time in nearly two months on Sunday evening for Argentina. The 23-year-old midfielder underwent groin surgery following the 5-0 defeat to Arsenal back in April after initially picking up the injury towards the end of 2023.

Despite his abilities, the Blues won five of their final six games without Fernandez with Moises Caicedo particularly impressing in his absence. However, with Conor Gallagher potentially heading for the exit door, new head coach Enzo Maresca will need Fernandez at his very best and he looks to be getting exactly that.

Fernandez played 34 minutes off the bench against Ecuador and he looked very sharp considering it was his first taste of competitive football in six weeks. While also bringing some needed composure into midfield, Fernandez provided a number of superb forward passes and was perhaps unfortunate to not pick up a goal contribution.

However there will be plenty of more opportunities for that , with Fernandez fit and ready for Argentina's Copa America campaign which kicks off later this month. His weekend cameo will certainly be something that pleased Maresca especially as the new Chelsea head coach's detailed plan for Fernandez was one of the reasons he got the job.

According to the Evening Standard, Maresca outlined several set-up shifts that he believes would allow Fernandez to thrive at Chelsea.

With Fernandez also no longer playing in pain, he could truly be unleashed at Stamford Bridge next season under Maresca. Other injured-plagued stars hoping to make an impact in the 2024/25 season will undoubtedly be Wesley Fofana, Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia.

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All three barely featured last season but Lavia has hinted his return to full fitness is close with a post to social media. On Instagram, he shared a photo of him sitting on the sidelines of a pitch ready to lace up his boots alongside a football, with a goal and some exercises laid out on the field in front of him.