Why Chelsea need Fabregas


Where does Cesc’s future lie? – bleacherreport.com

Chelsea’s sixth English league title is drawing ever closer. They will likely win it with the same starting eleven that has played virtually every game since September, including a midfield double-pivot of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic.

If Chelsea’s previous two seasons have taught them anything however, it is that tactical consistency can only bring success for so long. Chelsea looked similarly impressive in the 14/15 campaign, when they threatened to dominate under Jose Mourinho, who also regularly started the same eleven players. The following campaign, that squad suffered from fatigue, other factors including complacency, a poorly planned pre-season and internal issues.

Without Champions League football, Chelsea have built momentum with the same team. However, continued success will only be possible if the team has strength in depth and Antonio Conte is willing to trust those in reserve.

That is why Cesc Fabregas will be essential. Chelsea have scored six league goals within his 10 substitute appearances, all of 26 minutes or shorter. They have scored 10 goals with him on the pitch in the five league games he has started. The Spaniard creates chances at will, he picks passes that few in the world can and his unique vision opens the more defensively stubborn opposition.

However, Fabregas will have a dilemma in the summer. Having played just 526 top flight minutes out of a possible 2,160, further advances from a club as illustrious as Real Madrid would seem enticing.

The worst thing Chelsea could do would be to let their playmaker fly to the Spanish capital without a fight. Kante’s two successful campaigns have come without European football and last season suggests Matic is prone to a tantrum. With a bigger fixture list, those two cannot be relied upon to find the same momentum they have developed this term. Equally, Nathaniel Chalobah has looked bright when coming off the bench this term but trusting him or Ruben Loftus-Cheek as a third choice midfielder, while in pursuit of major trophies, would be risky.

Chelsea and Conte might not need Fabregas to start games this season, but chances of future success hinge on the summer decisions of their creative Spaniard.