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Enzo Fernandez should forget about Chelsea, sit back and reflect on what a year

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard chatting to Enzo Fernandez – Frank Lampard: Enzo Fernandez should forget about Chelsea, sit back and reflect on what a year – CameraSport/David Horton

Frank Lampard believes record £106 million Premier League signing Enzo Fernandez should forget about this season with Chelsea and “put his feet up” after an incredible year.

The 22-year-old joined Chelsea in a British record transfer from Benfica in January immediately after he had won the World Cup with Argentina. The midfielder, however, is one of many players at Stamford Bridge who have failed to live up to expectations during a dismal campaign that is set to end with the club’s lowest points total in the Premier League.

Lampard, though, has no doubt about Fernandez’s ability to succeed at Chelsea and become an important part of the club’s rebuild next season, insisting that he has the mentality to overcome a difficult start and become a key component of the side.

“I’ve got a lot of faith that Enzo will be a big part of what happens in the future of this club,” said interim manager Lampard. “I feel for him a little bit. He’s had a massive move to the Premier League. He’s won the World Cup. He should be sitting back at the end of this season quite rightly putting his feet up and saying: ‘What a year.’

“But in terms of how he can affect the future, I see him as being essential to the future.”

Lampard’s appointment has been designed to give Chelsea’s players an understanding of what it means to play for Chelsea and inspire them to reach the heights he did as a player. After a series of poor results, however, he called out his players over a lack of fitness, work ethic and ability to do the basics.

‘He’s got a high talent. Some players just get it’

He does not put Fernandez, who signed an eight-year contract with Chelsea, in that category, praising his personality. “Enzo gets it,” added Lampard. “He gets what’s required in training. He gets what it takes to be a Chelsea player.

“He’s got a high talent. Some players just get it. I keep talking about giving players time. But when you work with someone, you understand it very quickly, and I think he gets it.”

Chelsea’s last two matches, away at Manchester United on Thursday evening and at home to Newcastle on Sunday, could spell the end of many careers in west London. Mason Mount, who is out injured, could be saying goodbye to Chelsea supporters this week after United’s interest in a summer move was revealed.

Lampard is not surprised that rivals covet Mount with just one year left on his current deal. “I’m not surprised because this is football,” he said. “Does everyone know that? I really like Mason Mount as a man and a football player. Yes, sure. Of course, they do.

“So I wish him the best personally and sitting here with my Chelsea top on now I’ve seen what Mason’s delivered in this club, but then we’ll see.”

Benoit Badiashile, the defender, has been ruled out for several months with a hamstring injury. “It’s a bit of a complicated injury in his hamstring,” said Lampard.

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