Even the most ardent of Chelsea fans will admit that former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is bound to look slightly strange in Blue ahead of his Premier League return against Burnley at Turf Moor, but perhaps the most pragmatic transfer of Jose Mourinho's career will almost certainly pay off and leave Manchester United in particular to wonder what might have been.
Fabregas was rather harshly deemed surplus to requirements by new Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, despite recording at least double figures for both goals and assists in each of his three seasons at the Camp Nou.
United can only dream of that return from a midfield maestro and haven't managed to find a player in that position to score 10 Premier League goals since Paul Scholes in the 2002/03 season, so it will be a bitter pill to swallow watching their top transfer target from last summer in Fabregas shines at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho finds room for proven quality
Chelsea chief Mourinho was very quick to identify flaws in a solid but at times unspectacular first season back in West London, with creative flair and a proven goalscorer at the highest his immediate transfer priorities.
Mourinho has previously aimed jibes at Barca and battled directly against Fabregas and everything the potent playmaker has been taught in a football education honed at La Maisa and then Arsenal's London Colney training ground, but both men were able to but lingering differences aside in a marriage of convenience.
The Blues averaged just a single through ball per Premier League game last term and only Eden Hazard managed double figures in a title challenge that ultimately fell just short, expect Fabregas to help solve both issues in style.
Why not Arsenal?
Chelsea may have added a sprinkling of star quality to a squad already packed with strong options, but its no secret that Fabregas was first courted by United and offered to Arsenal this summer as a result of a buy-back clause.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger eventually decided he couldn't make room for a former Gunners captain who made running the show in central midfield look ridiculously easy during parts of his seven-season spell at the Emirates, with Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey trusted to do that job moving forward.
Expect that rejection to motivate Fabregas this season, with the pass master desperate to prove he was unfairly made the scapegoat of a Barca side that shot themselves in the foot consistently with defensive deficiencies rather than any flaws going forward.
United have serious questions to answer
Mourinho saw Frank Lampard was past his prolific prime and managed to get a deal for Fabregas signed and sealed before he'd kicked a ball at the World Cup, how Man United fans must long to see such decisive action in the transfer market.
Previous manager David Moyes was desperate to sign Fabregas, yet Louis van Gaal didn't share his enthusiasm and instead went along with United's decision to sign another long-term Spanish midfield target in Ander Herrera.
Fabregas is only two years older than Herrera and yet has a considerably superior CV and was signed for close to the same £27m price tag.
Unless the ex-Bilbao star's career reaches new heights at Old Trafford surely Chelsea have ended up with the better deal by some distance.
Mourinho has spent a very similar sum on a proven Premier League commodity looking for redemption and capable of offering the ammunition Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and co. need to make sure Chelsea are back lifting silverware come May, much to the dismay of Wenger, Van Gaal and co.
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