Argentine World Cup winner Fernandez has made a steady start in west London without truly expressing the talents that persuaded Chelsea to invest so heavily in him, while the team in general has struggled massively.
Graham Potter and Frank Lampard played the 22-year-old as a deep-lying central midfielder in a role often dubbed the No6, whereas Pochettino wants to unleash him in a more advanced ‘No8’ position.
“He is a No8,” Pochettino told Sky Sports.
“One of the first things when we met him is to talk about his position and how he feels comfortable, and then to talk about his quality.
“He needs some freedoms. He has the quality to assist, to shoot from outside the box.”
Another player Pochettino is tasked with getting the best out of is Moises Caicedo. The £115m arrival from Brighton endured a torrid debut off the bench at West Ham but is expected to start at home to Luton tonight.
The Chelsea boss is adamant that Caicedo still has some way to go before reaching the level of midfield greats such as N’Golo Kante.
“I never worked with Kante but [Caicedo] is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League,” he noted.
“He has some similar characteristics to Kante but Moises is still young and needs to work really hard to improve in different areas. But he has the potential to be one of the best.”