Lampard backs Fernandez to shine for Chelsea

Frank Lampard has backed Enzo Fernandez to become a big part of Chelsea’s future despite the midfielder struggling to make an impact since his £105m move from Benfica.

Fernandez, who won the Fifa Young Player award in December following Argentina’s World Cup triumph, has endured a tough start to his Chelsea career, with the team set for their lowest Premier League finish in almost 30 years.

“With Enzo I have been really impressed with him as a player, his attitude to training and games and his determination when he doesn’t speak the language at all,” interim boss Lampard said.

“When results and performances haven’t been great it’s almost as if a blanket is thrown over everybody and you are all responsible.

“But I have a lot of faith that Enzo will have a big part in the future of this club and I feel for him a little bit – but not that much as he has got a big move to the Premier League and won the World Cup.

“But Enzo gets it. He gets what’s required in training and to be a Chelsea player. He has a high talent.”

Fernandez has largely been deployed as one of two defensive midfielders since his British record transfer move in January.

Lampard does not believe that is his best position, but deployed him there because of injuries to other players.

Lampard explained: “My personal view with Enzo is that he can play all of the midfield roles but seeing him train and play, and getting a feeling for him, is that he has more to offer being a single six rather than a double six.  He can then play into the game more.

“I haven’t asked him that question (of his best position), because in my time here he’s been the most natural six because we don’t have many.

“Fair play to him, he’s never once said to me ‘That is not for me’ ,because that’s what his attitude is like.

“But I think he can join in with the game a lot more. Against Man City he played slightly higher up the pitch as he has a good eye for getting forward.

“At the minute it’s not something we have done much as a team or as club have not been doing enough in my opinion.

“Playing forward and direct higher up the pitch, finding passes that test the opposition.

“Enzo can play that pass, so being up the pitch is good for him.”