Can Cesc Fabregas push Chelsea forward?
Chelsea may have lost the aura of invincibility they built up earlier in the season, but they are still most pundits favourites to win the Premier League this season. If they do it will be down to the addition of two key squad member last summer - Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.
Fabregas and Costa where deadly rivals last season as their former clubs in Spain (Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively) were locked in a tense battle for the La Liga title. Atletico eventually won in dramatic fashion, successfully holding Barcelona to a draw at Camp Nou on the season’s final day to clinch success.
Fabregas sometimes found himself overlooked at his childhood club Barca; where he was held up, in unflattering light, against midfield maestros Xavi and Iniesta; but at Chelsea he has been given the opportunity to prove his own world class pedigree, one he has taken with gusto.
Already having netted twice, and provided 14 assists, in the Barclays Premier League is enough to endear him to Chelsea fans; but it is his harrying, skillful play and formidable all over the park which has impressed the most. Even Oscar, Fabregas’ Brazilian teammate, has already expressed his admiration for Fabregas describing how his teamwork has pushed Chelsea forward.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is known for his attitude that no player, however skillful, should ever eclipse the manager. Fabregas has slotted into this mindset, and is just as happy tracking back for defensive duties as he is getting forward to drive or pass into the box. Having completed over 50 passes and 2 taken shots a game since joining Chelsea; Fabregas is quickly proving to be the perfect “Mourinho” player.
Some have suggested that Fabregas may provide be mediating negotiations for former teammate and 3 time Ballon D’Or winner Lionel Messi to join him at Chelsea, a claim Fabregas has denied. However remote the possibility of Messi ever being parted from Barcelona; top clubs would kill for the chance to sign possibly the world’s greatest ever player.
If Chelsea were ever able to raise the estimated £150m+ transfer fee Messi’s signing would require it would be a mouth watering prospect for all fans of English football and, of course, Fabregas; who formed a productive partnership with Messi from midfield.
This weekend Chelsea will take on Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were left red faced by the Magpies during the reverse fixture; which The Blues lost 2-1. Although nobody is expecting a similar upset this time, Chelsea (1.18 at Betsafe) will certainly have a point to prove and Newcastle (16.00) will fear harsh reprisals. Although Diego Costa is tightly priced to score at 1.59, many will see value in the Fabregas to score market, where he is currently priced at 3.70.
Should Chelsea continue as expected and win the Premier League this season; Cesc Fabregas will have been a crucial component of that success. In Fabregas Chelsea must hope and expect they have acquired the domineering central midfielder who can keep controlling their games for years - and all the omens look good so far!