Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez is set to miss the remainder of the current campaign due to surgery. The midfielder has an inguinal hernia that now requires an operation. As a result, the Argentina international will not be able to feature in any of his club’s final six games of the season.

Fernandez has been dealing with the nagging issue for some time now. The Blues purchased the previously highly-rated star from Benfica in early 2023 for around $130 million. The move, however, has not exactly gone as planned, which has unfortunately been a theme at Chelsea in recent months.

While Fernandez has not necessarily been terrible for the Blues, he has yet to live up to the massive aforementioned transfer fee. Nevertheless, Fernandez has been a mainstay in the middle of the pitch for the West London club. The South American star has already played 62 total matches, with 58 of these appearances coming in the starting lineup.

Enzo Fernandez surgery dampens Chelsea’s hope of Europe

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino may also be playing for his job at the moment. Despite only arriving in the summer, the coach could soon be on his way out of the club. There have been suggestions that the team’s performances over these next six games will ultimately determine his future.

Fernandez’s upcoming absence only compounds Pochettino’s problems. Not only will he be without his main midfielder, but several other stars are also on the sidelines as well. The team is now without 10 players, including regular starters Robert Sanchez, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, and Christopher Nkunku.

Due to another down season, Chelsea finds itself ninth in the Premier League table. This is incomprehensible considering ownership has spent over $1 billion on new players since the summer of 2022. Despite the club’s current failures, they can still qualify for a European tournament without Fernandez.

The Blues find themselves just three points behind Newcastle for a place in next season’s Europa Conference League. While Chelsea brass wants the team to feature in bigger competitions, playing in the third-tiered tournament could save Pochettino’s job. The coach will, however, have to leapfrog both the Magpies and West Ham in the standings without some important players.

Midfielder hopeful of featuring in Copa America

Fernandez’s decision to have the operation comes down to fitness for the 2024 Copa America. The international tournament starts on June 20, with Argentina playing the first match of the competition. Fernandez’s team is in Group A alongside Peru, Chile and Canada.

The midfielder may have eventually missed the important contest if he waited until the end of Chelsea’s season to have the surgery. Instead, Fernandez is now likely to recover in time from the minor operation to feature at the tournament.

The upcoming Copa America will take place in the United States for just the second time in the competition’s history. The North American nation also previously hosted the tournament back in 2016.