Frank Lampard says he believes Enzo Fernandez will make a big impact at Chelsea once he adjusts to English football.
The Argentina World Cup-winner, 22, has had a difficult start to his career at Stamford Bridge following his big-money move from Benfica in January.
It has been a miserable season for the Blues and far from an ideal introduction to the Premier League for Fernandez.
But interim boss Lampard has no doubt about the player’s ability.
“I think he’s a fantastic talent,” said Lampard.
“For a young player to have achieved what he’s achieved this year has been amazing – to be part of a World Cup-winning team and to earn himself a move to the Premier League and a club like Chelsea.
“It’s maybe a difficult moment to come to the club. He’s been here a few months now and it’s been a difficult time, which will be a challenge for him.
“But I think it’s a challenge that will make him better, because everybody will put a lot of eyes on his performance and give him a lot of responsibility.
“The reality is that, with his age, he also needs support and those things. Those things can take time – like speaking the language for instance.”
Fernandez has made 11 appearances since his move to west London, having only been at Benfica for half a season.
Lampard added: “He’s a fantastic talent and the future of Chelsea. But we must also give him that bit of time to settle because a lot has happened to him very quickly.
“But I really like Enzo. I’ve been very, very impressed with him.”