Enzo Fernandez truth became crystal clear during Chelsea’s draw with Everton

They wore pink but it was not pretty, they did not have much of the ball but Sean Dyche did not care.

This is the type of result that will keep Everton in the Premier League, this is the type of performance that will keep Everton in the Premier League. Gutsy, obviously – with a Dyche team, that normally goes without saying – but there was also a threat on the break that has not been there on so many occasions over these past couple of dismal seasons.

This is an Everton team that, in the main, is responding to Dyche, responding to his calls for commitment, for passion, for a never-give-up attitude. And all those things were encapsulated in the way Ellis Simms forced the late goal that gave Everton such a precious point.

Simms had a forgettable first game under Dyche in the Merseyside derby but this intervention from the bench might prove to be invaluable in this season’s final reckoning. No wonder the travelling Everton fans hailed the result as though it had actually kept them in the Premier League.

It hasn’t, of course, and a fraught relegation battle still looms but the nature of this display – twice coming back against an elite team finding some momentum – bodes well for that fight. As for Chelsea and Graham Potter, they will not be too disheartened – there was nothing to jeer about here, nothing for punters to wave as evidence Potter should get the sack.

And there were one or two fine individual performances. If Enzo Fernandez wants an insight into the pressure that comes with a seven-figure price-tag, he needs to look no further than the confines of the Chelsea dressing room.

Is Enzo Fernandez the best midfielder in the Premier League? Have your say in the comments!

Enzo Fernandez of Chelsea

Enzo Fernandez excelled at the heart of midfield for Chelsea
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

In July, 2019, Felix moved from Benfica to Atletico Madrid for 125 million euros and has struggled to live up to his financial billing ever since. He is enjoying his football now, that is for sure, and Chelsea supporters are enjoying him.

Whether or not they will be able to enjoy him beyond the end of the season is up for negotiation but they will be seeing plenty of Enzo for years to come. And that fee in excess of £100million will soon be a footnote in his Stamford Bridge story.

Nine games into his Chelsea career and Enzo has already become the heartbeat of this team. For those who like their statistics and their modern football jargon, the Argentine completes the highest number of progressive passes per 90 Premier League minutes.

Presumably, progressive means forward. Anyhow, Enzo – as he likes to be known – is top of the charts in that department, averaging, before this win over Everton, 10.6 in every match. It was Enzo’s progressive pass to Ben Chilwell that started the sequence of play that ended with a daisy-cutting Felix finish.

Enzo Fernandez of Chelsea

Enzo Fernandez cost Chelsea £106million in the January transfer window
Ivan Yordanov/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

When Chelsea acquire a blue-chip centre-forward, Enzo’s creative eye will be seen to even greater effect. But, of course, the reason he became such a key player in a World Cup-winning team was his capability in the defensive midfield department.

Enzo is an identikit Premier League midfielder; physically robust, disruptive, but with that eye for the attacking opportunity. He mixes his passes intelligently – one moment, sending a long raking ball to the flank, the next, choosing the correct short option.

He has also got an attacking surge of his own in the locker, drawing a foul on the corner of the penalty area in a rare moment of first half excitement. The Felix strike and a Kai Havertz penalty – not long after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s back-headed equaliser – seemed to have put Chelsea on course for their fourth consecutive win before Simms struck.

But it was Fernandez who was at the centre of a team display that was reasonable but that suggested the Potter project is very much a work in progress. Dyche, on the other hand, is not building, he is battling for survival – and if the Everton manager gets many more performances like this one, he will get it.

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