‘Thiago Alcantara’s long-term replacement’ looks ready for the big leagues for Liverpool

Liverpool may just have made a transfer ‘agreement’ for

Enzo Fernandez is prepared for the major leagues and has been linked to a move to Liverpool.

A player can be propelled from relative obscurity into the hearts and minds of soccer fans around the world thanks to the World Cup. As the competition enters its final week, every contribution could result in the creation of an image that will go down in sports history.

No pressure, right? Enzo Fernandez, on the other hand, is one person who seized the chance and ran with it. Prior to the 2022 World Cup, he had only played in three matches for Argentina, all of which were as a substitute.

The 21-year-old was initially playing a similar role as a substitute in Qatar, but he later scored an excellent goal in his nation’s second game, a 2-0 victory over Mexico. After assisting Julian Alvarez on a goal in the following game against Poland, Fernandez stayed in the starting lineup. He’s now being closely associated with a transfer to Liverpool.

To be honest, the rumors existed before the World Cup even started. But with news coming out of South America suggesting a pre-agreement for a contract next summer is now in place, the rumors have intensified.

In time, it will become clear if the stories are true in any way. Given that Fernandez only joined Benfica from River Plate this summer and that his current contract expires after this season, it seems doubtful that a deal would be reached soon. Though he’s undoubtedly a good player, we’ll have to wait and watch how things go.

Fernandez moved to Europe at the beginning of 2022–2023, but his statistics indicate that he has already outgrown second-tier rivalries. Spain, Italy, England, France, and Germany are regarded as the top five leagues. The “next eight” in FBRef are leagues like the Eredivisie, MLS, English Championship, and Primeira Liga of Portugal.

Fernandez is listed as being in the top 1% of midfielders in the upcoming eight competitions for 23 different metrics on his FBRef scouting report, and top 5% for an additional 12 measures. The most notable aspect of his passing is his capacity to occupy space at strategic locations.

He has made more line-breaking passes in open play (68), as well as receiving the ball in space in Zone 14 more frequently (28) than any other player in the Primeira Liga this season, according to Statsbomb’s tweet from last month. Fernandez can frequently play through balls from Zone 14, which is the middle area in front of the opponent’s penalty box. Iuri Medeiros is the only player in Portugal to have produced more Opta-defined clear-cut opportunities (2022–23; chances where you anticipate the attacker to score). It’s intriguing to consider how Darwin Nunez and Fernandez would have collaborated if Nunez had still been a Benfica player.

It’s interesting to observe which players are similar based on that statistics, even though his numbers don’t jump out as much in the Champions League or at the World Cup (understandably due to the higher standard). According to Transfermarkt, Fernandez has assisted goals this season against Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain while playing in Europe’s top club league. He believes that Thiago Alcantara is the midfielder who most closely resembles him. Aurelien Tchouameni, a former transfer target for Liverpool, is playing in both the Champions League and the international competition in Qatar. The Argentinean player will succeed if he can consistently provide what those players do.

Again making sense, Fernandez’ defensive statistics stand out more in more difficult contests. Due to their dominance, Benfica’s players haven’t been as actively involved in preventing opponent attacks as they may have been after winning 12 and drawing one of their first 13 league games. The facт that the Argentine is among the top 4% of midfielders in the Champions League for tackles per 90 minutes this season demonstrates his ability to win the ball back when necessary.

And Fernandez might win the World Cup by the end of this week. An already promising career may be about to soar to new heights.

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