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Chelsea star admits he ‘harmed’ the team and says Mauricio Pochettino fixed squad ‘mess’


Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez

Enzo Fernandez says he has needed pain-killing injections to play for Chelsea this season (AFP via Getty)

Enzo Fernandez admits he was ‘harming’ Chelsea’s performances by playing through injury this season and has praised Mauricio Pochettino for ‘giving order and identity’ to the team.

Argentina’s World Cup winner has required pain-killing injections in order to play for Chelsea for a large part of this campaign due to a hernia issue and is now out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery last month.

Fernandez joined Chelsea in a £106.8 million deal from Benfica just over a year ago and the midfielder has credited Pochettino with playing a key role in improving the squad’s harmony.

‘When I arrived, it was quite a mess, there were many players,’ Fernandez said in an interview with DSports.

‘Mauricio gave order and an identity to the team. The work ethic is different. He changed everything, and the truth is it’s positive.

‘The team is more serious and hard-working. That’s important for day-to-day, and when the weekend comes, you can see the difference.’

Enzo Fernandez has credited Mauricio Pochettino with transforming Chelsea (Action Images via Reuters)

Fernandez is now targeting a return from injury for Argentina’s Copa America campaign, which begins against Canada on June 20.

‘I was playing with pain and injections for eight months,’ Fernandez said.

‘I had to make the decision to have surgery, it was the best. I was harming the team and didn’t want to expose myself.

‘I’m fine, people can relax. I’m getting better day by day, and I’m eager for the Copa America to arrive.

‘I’ve already started training on the pitch, the recovery is advanced, and I hope to be training with the national team soon.

‘I’m very excited for this Copa America, it will be the first time I play in it.’

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