Ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Bournemouth this weekend, dropping Cesc Fabregas from the side may just prove the remedy to ensure victory.
This season, Jose Mourinho has been reluctant to deploy younger players and has stubbornly persisted with his flagging stars.
However, with Fabregas continuing to struggle through all the turmoil engulfing Stamford Bridge, removing the Spaniard from the starting XI may prove a positive move. Even if only temporarily, it would remove the ex-Arsenal man from all the negative press that has fallen on his shoulders since the summer.
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By this point last season, Fabregas was proving the signing of the summer with an unprecedented haul of ten assists. His range of passing was immaculate and the Spaniard seemed effortless in his ability to pick out teammates with the brush of his boot.
Comparatively, although he has improved in recent weeks, the 28-year-old possesses just two assists in the league this season.
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Albeit, Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Tottenham has been heralded as the club’s best performance of their title defence, but Fabregas hit rock bottom with his passing accuracy. Completing just 73.58% of his passes, the Spaniard produced his lowest tally over the past five games.
The only saving grace from his quiet performance at White Hart Lane was the number of passes attempted with 53 being a narrow improvement from the pitiful 33 he could muster against Stoke.
The Blues’ stagnant form this season provides Mourinho with the perfect excuse to at long last implement youth into the Chelsea team. Since Roman Abramovich’s take over in 2004, the Blues have been stripped bare of academy players with very few making the first team.
Fabregas’ recent stop-start form certainly warrants the selection of Ruben Loftus-Cheek as opposed to the misfiring Spaniard.
Similarly to the majority of Chelsea’s jaded stars, the undeniable talent and quality lingers but being dropped from the squad for a few games may spark a return to form. Memphis Depay’s recent resurgence of form for Manchester United is evidence that being given time on the bench can be healthy for a player.
After all, with Fabregas showing few signs of returning to his previous self, something must change or the playmaker could face the Chelsea axe.
Regardless of Fabregas' reputation and form last season, with Chelsea suffocating in 14th, he must be removed from the team. Even with Loftus-Cheek’s limited experience, the Englishman would at least exceed Fabregas in confidence.
Change is a must
Change is the answer for Mourinho and if dropping Diego Costa proved fruitful versus Tottenham, then handing Fabregas the same fate might see further improvements.
In addition, when the Spaniard would eventually be handed his place back, the hunger would have returned to fight for his selection. Mourinho must demonstrate that no member of the squad is guaranteed a place or face being swallowed up by a toxic dressing room.
Fabregas has appeared dejected and absent in recent games and for the sake of confidence needs to be removed from the bombardment of negative press.
Moreover, in Loftus-Cheek’s appearances this season he has been a target for substantial plaudits and will inject invention and creativity into the Blues squad. The 19-year-old is blatantly a better option in the starting XI and if all else fails, it would show Chelsea fans that the club does trust its own academy players.
There is no doubt that letting such a quality player as Cesc Fabregas go would be a mistake for Chelsea, but Mourinho should no longer stubbornly persist with the Spaniard when he continues to falter.
Leaving Fabregas on the bench versus Bournemouth in favour of Loftus-Cheek would provide a new energy in the Chelsea line-up and maximise the chances of victory. The ex-Arsenal man is so emaciated of confidence that he must be removed from the spotlight, for the coming weeks at least, or his season at Chelsea will continue to wither away.
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