Graham Potter joked that he realised that Chelsea were going to have to spend big if they were to sign Enzo Fernandez after watching his performance in the World Cup.

Fernandez’s impressive campaign with Argentina in the 2022 World Cup-winning campaign clearly played a part in convincing Chelsea to make the move for him in the January window, but Potter argued that the midfielder was a long-term target.

The Blues agreed to pay a club-record £107miillion for the 22-year-old after a tough negotiation with Benfica on the deadline day.

Potter admitted that he knew the midfielder was going to be an expensive target after watching his World Cup display.

Chelsea Unveil New Signing Enzo Fernandez
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“We were aware of him before the World Cup, we knew of his qualities,” the manager told Sky Sports (via Football Daily) when speaking about his new midfielder.

“He was one of the players that we were thinking about, so we [had] known about him for a while.

“Yeah, [I] watched the World Cup and thought, ‘It could be more expensive than we thought…’

“Then it’s just one of those things… you never know really up until the last day, the last minute, the last seconds.”

Chelsea could have saved over £70m if they had made their move six months sooner and signed him from River Plate, instead, but at the time, the club were in a rather unusual situation.

The new ownership group had just taken over and amid the absence of a sporting director, co-owner Todd Boehly had to play the role temporarily.

It is different now. Chelsea have just announced their new sporting department with Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley taking up the roles of co-directors.

This department also includes Christopher Vivell, who will focus on football globally, Joe Shields, Kyle Macaulay, and Jim Fraser leading on talent management and recruitment, and Matthew Hallam leading on data and analysis.

We may still see more big-money signings, such as Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk, arrive at Chelsea in the transfer market, but early acquisitions of promising talents should ideally be the objective.

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