It comes after Chelsea finished last season in 12th too, with Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard all struggling to oversee a consistent run of results despite the club’s huge spending.
Fernandez was one of those to arrive in January, joining for £107million from Benfica, and has impressed in the Chelsea midfield even with all the upheaval around him.
The 22-year-old was unable to do anything about the Blues’ defeat to Nottingham Forest before the international break though, a result Merson believes further emphasised the team’s clear weakness as he suggested Fernandez deserves better.
“Mauricio Pochettino will get it right because he’s a good manager, but it’s going to be hard. If they get in the top four then they will be pulling up trees,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“They’ve bought too many players that are the same. Enzo Fernandez is different class - a cut above the rest. But how long will he stand for this?
“There’s not enough guile in the team. You haven’t got players that will put the ball through the eye of a needle.”
He added: “They can’t break teams down. It’s like watching Subbuteo football - there’s no movement. Unless Fernandez finds that killer pass, no one else will.”
The Blues have spent more than £1bn across the last three transfer windows, but have no European football to look forward to as a result of last season’s struggles.
Merson insists getting back into the Champions League would be a major achievement for the club, but points to that as evidence of how standards are have dropped at Stamford Bridge.
He said: “Chelsea have brought in a million players and you think: ‘How do you get a team out of this lot?’
“Chelsea is about winning trophies. It’s not Tottenham, trying to get in the top four, but that’s where it’s got to - so quickly, as well.”