Fernandes targets Chelsea involvement after impressing on return


Edimilson Fernandes is targeting a return to the West Ham United starting XI in Sunday’s London derby at Chelsea.

The Swiss midfielder made his comeback after four months out with a troublesome ankle injury on Saturday, impressing after being introduced as an early substitute in the 3-0 Premier League victory over Southampton at London Stadium.

The energetic No31 made a team-high four tackles and regained possession for his team seven times, most notably when he won the ball from Saints midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg to start the move for West Ham’s second goal.

Having been on the side-lines for so long, the 21-year-old was delighted to make such a positive impact on his restoration to the matchday squad. Now, he is hoping to be handed an opportunity from the kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

“It was a good return for me and a good match for the whole team and I just hope we can continue like that,” Fernandes told whufc.com. “After four months, it was a big pleasure to return in a good match like that. It was class. I was just pleased to be back on the pitch. It was a good performance from the team and I feel strong, which I am happy about.

“It was difficult to be out for so long, physically and psychologically, not playing and not training on the pitch alongside my teammates, so that’s why I was so eager to return and why it is so good to be back.”


Edimilson Fernandes scored West Ham United's EFL Cup winner against Chelsea last season


Next up for the Hammers is a trip to west London, where Fernandes is relishing the prospect of testing himself against the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Cesc Fabregas.

The midfielder’s best moment in a Claret and Blue shirt so far came against the Blues in October 2016, when he marked just his third start for the Club with a shock EFL Cup winner at London Stadium.

Eighteen months on, the Sion-born star hopes his injury issues are behind him and he can make another positive impression against Antonio Conte’s men this weekend.

“Chelsea is a good game and I am hoping we can play well again, like we did against Southampton in our last match.

“I am also hoping I can be involved again and that, if I am, I do not perform badly as this is another important match for the team, just like the previous one.

“Chelsea have some big players and I prefer to test myself against the best, which is normal for any professional player, and I am hoping I can play well against them.”