Cesc Fabregas and Chelsea Football club on paper does not seem like a match made in heaven.
The Spaniard has notoriously had a long-lasting feud with departing Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, which all started in the 93rd minute of the Carling Cup final in 2007. Fabregas has also hit back at current Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, after he said Manchester City would be facing "the worst Barcelona of many, many years" in last season's Champions League.
Despite all this, Chelsea still want to purchase the former Arsenal captain, who was recently told he can leave the Catalan club. Although it is seemingly an unlikely relationship on paper, the move makes total sense for the London club for so many reasons.
Mourinho's men clearly lacked a cutting edge in the final third when against opposition that sat deep with many men behind the ball last year. This was especially evident against West Ham when the teams drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were forced into hopeful, long-range efforts, as they couldn't find a way through the Hammers' defence.
Brazilian attacker Willian has tremendous work-rate and dribbling ability, but lacked quality when it came to the final ball. Despite starting off the season well, Willian's fellow countryman, Oscar, found his form drop-off after a good start to the season and he was often non-existent in matches. Eden Hazard was put under great pressure to create the chances, and his form wasn't consistent throughout the season. Andre Schurrle and Mohammed Salah are better known for their pace rather than creativity which meant Hazard was the only creative player for large parts of the season. He wouldn't admit it, but maybe even Mourinho was regretting the sale of Juan Mata, who contributed a lot of assists in his first two seasons at Chelsea.
This season Fabregas has 13 assists in La Liga for Barcelona compared to Oscar's two in the Premier League. Fabregas astonishingly still has the most assists in the Premier League since 2007, despite leaving in 2011. This type of player was sorely missed in Mourinho's workmanlike side last year.
An advantage to Fabregas's game is that he is very versatile and can play in numerous positions. He could line-up in the two man pivot alongside Nemanja Matic, but I could only see this happening against smaller teams, as Mourinho likes to have both his midfielders defensively component. The position I would expect to see him in is the number ten position behind the striker. This would give Fabregas the licence to thrive, and create chances for the other forwards in the side. Lastly, for Spain, Fabregas has played as a false number nine. Schurrle had this role in a couple of games for Chelsea last season, but it was unsuccessful. This formation could be used sparingly by Mourinho, but Fabregas is able to play in that position if necessary.
Another positive of signing Fabregas is that he classes as a homegrown player. With Lampard and Ashley Cole leaving, the addition of homegrown players will be much required to keep in line with Premier League rules.
If Chelsea can tie up a deal for the 27-year-old, in the region of £30 million, I believe it will be money well spent. Fabregas could get the best out of other attacking players around him and he'll bring much needed creativity. I expect to see much more attacking, attractive football at Stamford Bridge next season if Cesc Fabregas is wearing the blue of Chelsea.
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