Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez has had the worst defensive record in one on one situations in the top five European leagues since moving to Stamford Bridge.

According to Opta, the 22-year-old has been dribbled past three times per game on average in the Premier League.

In other words, there have been 12 successful take-ons against him in his first four games in Chelsea colours.

This is significantly higher than his number at Benfica, which was 1.2 per game.

Fernandez still produces impressively high defensive output in terms of tackles and interceptions, at 3.8 and 2 per game, but for a player who mostly plays as a holding midfielder under Graham Potter, it is concerning how easy it seems for an opposition player to get past him.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea FC - Premier League
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Many would argue that Fernandez is naturally a number eight, rather than a number six.

However, for now he is arguably the only suitable replacement for Jorginho in the team, perhaps alongside Juventus loanee Denis Zakaria, who also prefers to plays as a number eight.

It is worth noting that Chelsea failed to keep a clean sheet in the four matches the Argentina international featured in. They kept three consecutive clean sheets prior to these.

Obviously, Fernandez also offers a lot offensively, albeit yet to result in a win, so the risk may be worth taking.

But unless Chelsea could reduce the number of dribbles Fernandez has to deal with during games, it would be difficult for the likes of Reece James and Ben Chilwell to commit to joining the attack.

Will playing him alongside N’Golo Kante, who is expected to return from a long-term injury absence, solve this issue? Probably not.

Like Fernandez, Kante tends to chase the ball, although he is unsurprisingly better at defending against dribbles.

The France international covers a lot of ground, however, and this could limit the number of situations in which Fernandez has to defend in a one-on-one situation.

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