Just two years into life at Chelsea and things have swiftly spiraled downwards for Cesc Fabregas.
After a flying debut season, the Spaniard was one of the biggest victims of last year’s debacle and has now been reduced to the bench under Antonio Conte. It’s been quite a fall from favour.
However, the past year hasn’t served to devalue Fabregas in the eyes of one of Chelsea’s biggest Premier League rivals. It appears that the midfielder’s time in the sun might not be over yet.
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Fall from grace
June 2014 saw Fabregas make the surprise move to Stamford Bridge for a fee in the region of €33 million. Given his form at Arsenal and moderate success at Barcelona, the capture always looked a shrewd one.
Jose Mourinho’s gamble paid extensive dividends in Fabregas’ first season. The 29-year-old racked up an unprecedented 18 assists as the Blues romped to both the league and League Cup titles.
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Nevertheless, the Spaniard suffered the following season. Even under Guus Hiddink’s salvage mission, the playmaker failed drastically to revive his form of the previous campaign.
For this, it appears, Conte has never truly forgiven him and nor was impressed with the pre-season they shared together.
In fact, Fabregas’ only league start this season saw him watch his old side win convincingly at the Emirates. His only real highlights in 2016-17 came in the form of an EFL Cup brace that has largely gone under the radar.
However, Fabregas may have an escape route in the form of Manchester City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and this could be the case here.
While Conte has far from extensively purged Fabregas from the team, it’s clear he’s not as valued as the club’s other midfielders and Guardiola could be poised to take advantage of this.
According to The Sun, the Citizens are poised to make a £20 million bid for the 29-year-old in January.
It is believed that Etihad chiefs, in light of no wins in their past four games, have become disillusioned with the team’s midfield creativity. With Yaya Toure being left in exile and Fernandinho flopping of late, they see Fabregas as the answer.
Besides, Guardiola and Fabregas make for a formidable partnership. In their one season together at Barcelona, the midfielder amassed an impressive 20 goals and 15 assists.
The now City boss made sure the rest of the team pulled their weight too as Barcelona ran away with four trophies that campaign.
Therefore, the powers that be at the Etihad Stadium will hoping to pair the two together and reap the benefits. After all, it’s clear Fabregas isn’t as valued at Stamford Bridge as he once was.
Considering the offers on the table this summer came from AC Milan and Juventus too, City proves a rather appetising upgrade.
For Fabregas’ sake though, it must be hoped that Chelsea don’t prevent a move to what proves one of their biggest rivals. It may suit the Spaniard down to the ground, but appears an easy way for the Blues to shoot themselves in the foot.
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