Regardless of much game time he's granted at Chelsea, there can be little denying that Cesc Fabregas is one of the finest players in the Premier League.
Arsenal fans were left kicking themselves when their London rivals procured Fabregas in 2014 as his Barcelona return began to stagnate.
The Spaniard announced his return in remarkable fashion, flirting with the all time Premier League assists record for a season, on his way to collecting the league title and Capital One Cup.
Since then, however, Fabregas has only been able to show his flashes of brilliance in the appearances he is handed by Antonio Conte - an often inconsistent affair.
The 30-year-old made 29 league appearances for the Blues last season but a sizeable 16 came from the bench as Chelsea romped their way to another title.
That being said, Fabregas seems to have nailed down a place in the side once again this year, having started in all but one of the club's league fixtures.
This necessary journey of reprieve can be traced back to the disastrous 2015-16 campaign which - before Leicester City - proved the worst title defence in the competition's history.
Fabregas was one of the players most targeted for their drop in performance alongside the likes of Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa and particularly Eden Hazard.
The terrible performances culminated in the dismissal of Jose Mourinho before Christmas and even the steady influence of Guus Hiddink as interim boss did little to stop the rot.
In a recent interview with Gary Lineker, Fabregas admits that the entire debacle still bothers him to this day and plays on his mind more than fans would expect.
He revealed: "I still wonder myself because it was such a shame.
"You go to bed sometimes and you think of many things and sometimes you cannot sleep.
"Still sometimes it bothers me because I could look from the outside as a fan and think, ‘these guys are not even trying’. But we just forgot to play football.
"You felt that those six months we were nowhere close to what we really were just a few months before. But it happened and I felt bad for it.
"We still talk today. He is probably the manager that I have had the best feeling and connection for. Apart from Arsene (Wenger), the one I have the most contact with is Jose."
Chelsea have certainly avoided a Mourinho-like fall from grace this season but there's no doubting that all is not well at Stamford Bridge right now. Fabregas will have to channel his guilt to ensure Antonio Conte doesn't suffer the same fate.
Do you think Cesc Fabregas would still make the Barcelona XI? Have your say in the comments section below.
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