Hey everyone! It’s February 1st, the Winter transfer window has slammed shut, and all deals are finalized. While Dortmund had a somewhat quiet deadline day, with Thorgan Hazard going out on loan and Ivan Fresneda choosing to stay in Valladolid, other teams were busy. The biggest news, however, was the signing of Enzo Fernandez by Chelsea 30 minutes before the deadline. So, let’s take a look at this deal and see why Dortmund could profit tens of millions from it in a slightly longer Daily Bee.
Chelsea Sign Enzo Fernandez for $116 Million
In a record fee by an English club, Chelsea got their man after flirting with him all winter. Enzo Fernandez has signed with the London club for an English record of $116 million and will be on a whopping 8-and-a-half-year deal. So, with Chelsea getting their main target and Benfica raking in the dough, who are the real winners of this transfer deal? River Plate and Borussia Dortmund, of course.
The first is really simple. Enzo Fernandez played at River Plate for a year prior to leaving for Benfica in July and in that $17 million dollar transfer, River Plate included a 25% sell-on clause. This means the Argentine club will make $29 million off of this deal 6 months after they sold him and only 18 months after they incorporated him into their first team—pretty decent business.
The second is slightly less simple. Borussia Dortmund have no real stake in Fernandez’s transfer from Benfica and Chelsea’s addition of Fernandez means Dortmund’s next Champions League opponent are much stronger. Instead, this transfer means Dortmund were handed one of the greatest negotiating tools for the moment if/when Jude Bellingham decides to leave Borussia Dortmund; precedent. Chelsea have set the precedent that a player of Enzo Fernandez’s caliber; a dynamic 22-year-old midfielder from the Portuguese league who can progress the ball, play defense, and provide end product is worth $116 million dollars. Well, what does that mean for Jude Bellingham; a dynamic 19-year-old playing in the Bundesliga who is better at progressing the ball, better at playing defense, and better at providing end product?
In almost every metric, Jude Bellingham is a better player despite being three years younger. Bellingham outperforms Fernandez in all of these categories: goals and assists per 90 (Jude’s 0.41 vs Enzo’s 0.39), shots on target per 90 (0.71 vs 0.33), successful dribbles per 90 (2.17 vs 0.65), tackles per 90 (3.12 vs 2.6), interceptions per 90 (1.35 vs 1.97), and blocks per 90 (1.94 vs .97). To give Fernandez credit, he leads Bellingham in shot creating actions per 90 (Jude’s 3.92 vs Enzo’s 4.42) and goal creating actions per 90 (0.53 vs 0.72).
While it’s evident that both players play different roles, Enzo as a passer who links Benfica’s entire team together and Bellingham as an all-action midfielder responsible for producing on either end of the field, they exist in similar positions. Both play in a midfield three with a creative player in front of them and a defensive stalwart next to them. On top of this, Bellingham has spent this season carrying a lackluster Dortmund team in probably the second or third-hardest league in the world. Enzo Fernandez has spent this season being a vital cog in a very dominant Benfica team that has one loss and a goal difference of 36 in what is probably the 6th or 7th hardest league in the world.
Now, my point isn’t to say that Enzo Fernandez is a bad player. He’s a fantastic player coming off a World Cup win and looks set to be a generational talent. My point is that Bellingham, on the other hand, also looks set to be a generational talent and is probably one of the best box-to-box midfielders on the planet despite being 19 years old. If Enzo Fernandez is a $116 million dollar player, I’m sure Bellingham’s price tag just went up.
Saturday, February 4, 9:30 am EST: Dortmund vs. Freiburg Bundesliga
Wednesday, February 8, 11:45 am EST: Bochum vs. Dortmund DFB Pokal
Saturday, February 11, 9:30 am EST: Bremen vs. Dortmund Bundesliga
Wednesday. Febuary 15, 3:00 pm EST: Dortmund vs. Chelsea UCL
Sunday, February 19, 9:30 am EST: Dortmund vs. Hertha Bundesliga
Saturday, February 25, 9:30 am EST: Hoffenheim vs. Dortmund Bundesliga
Personally, I’m really looking forward to Freiburg this weekend, our UCL matchup against Chelsea, and the faceoff vs. Thomas Delaney’s Hoffenheim at the end of this month.
- Batshuayi turned down a move to Everton on deadline day. The former Dortmund striker is currently plying his trade in the Turkish league for league leaders Fenerbahce.
- Unfortunately for fans of fun, Isco’s move to Union Berlin fell through. The five-time Champions League winner is not coming to the Bundesliga.
The Daily Buzz
As a completely unbiased and rational soccer fan, what do you think Bellingham is worth in today’s transfer market? How well do you think Enzo Fernandez will do at Chelsea? Which matchup are you looking forward to the most this month?
Thanks for reading everyone!