Sportz Point Awards 2022 | Emerging Footballer of the Year: Enzo Fernandez


Sportz Point Awards 2022 | Emerging Footballer of the Year: Enzo Fernandez

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Argentina and Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez won the ‘Young Player’ award of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is Sportz Point’s emerging footballer of the year.

The 21-year-old Fernandez, a central midfielder who plays for Portuguese club Benfica, scored his maiden goal for the national side against Mexico in Argentina’s second group match.

He became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal for Argentina since Messi in 2006.

He assisted Julian Alvarez’s goal in the match against Poland, which Argentina won 2-0 and secured qualification to the knockout round.

Fernandez mainly played the role of an anchor in midfield for Scaloni’s team. His presence upgraded Argentina’s transition play from defence to attack. His vision and game-reading abilities also proved to be useful for his nation in this World Cup. 

Fernandez made his international debut for Argentina in September 2022 as a substitute in a 3-0 win against Honduras.

He is an academy graduate of the Argentine club River Plate. He made his debut for the senior side in 2019 before playing two seasons on loan for Defensa y Justicia, another Argentine club. With Defensa y Justicia, Fernandez won Copa Sudamericana and Recopa Sudamericana, before returning to River Plate last year in a title-winning campaign.

In 2022, he joined Benfica where he played 13 matches and scored one goal.

Enzo Fernández continues to make headlines in Portugal as the the player arrives back in Lisbon after his World Cup win with Argentina. Portuguese sports daily A Bola reports that Jorge Mendes (the player’s representative) has submitted two offers to his Lisbon based club.

Enzo Fernandez has agreed to leave Benfica and join Chelsea, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Blues are now in “direct talks” with the Portuguese side and are preparing a huge transfer offer for the midfielder, who has a €120 million release clause in his contract. Man Utd and Liverpool have also been linked with the World Cup’s Young Player of the Tournament but have not yet made a bid.

Fernandez only arrived at Benfica in the summer from River Plate but his performances at the World Cup have thrust him into the limelight and brought a host of admirers. The 21-year-old has refused to speak about his future and said only that his agent is handling matters.

Chelsea have already offered £106m for Fernandez, more than matching his release clause, and are in pole position to land the youngster. Meanwhile, Benfica have denied comments from president Rui Costa that he will allow the midfielder to leave if his release clause is met and insist they want the Argentine to stay for the rest of the season.

Fernandez could return to action on Friday as Benfica take on Braga in the Portuguese top flight.

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