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Beware conte: why selling this Chelsea superstar would mean the start of another downhill season for the blues

Cesc Fabregas

Two summers ago every Arsenal fan had a heart break after their former captain Cesc Fabregas singed for their city rivals Chelsea from his boyhood club Barcelona. His arrival along with the purchase of Diego Costa, proved to be Jose Mourinho’s master move as Chelsea secured the title 10 months later. The former Real Madrid manager was quick to identify the gaps in his Chelsea squad and promptly filled them. Now Antonio Conte must do the same thing if he wants to take his new employers back in the Champions League come next may. Chelsea who were the defending champions last season, finished the season in the 10th spot. .For the first time since 1996/97, the Blues shipped more than 50 Premier League goals and were largely ineffective going forward with the likes Diego Costa, Fabregas and Hazard suffering a loss in form for the major chunks of the season.

One player who will be particularly worried about his place in the team is Cesc Fabregas. Having been the creative catalyst for the Blues when they won the title, the Spaniard went through a long lean period, which prompted some of the Blues fans to call for him to be benched. However Conte will be foolish to not start with the former Arsenal man in his midfield come 13th August. One of the main reasons why Fabregas suffered last season was Nemanja Matic’s terrible campaign at the heart of the Chelsea midfield. He was burdened with defensive duties when his focus should have been at creating openings for the players in front of him. In 2014/2015 it was Matic who was responsible was doing all the dirty work, while Fabregas was left to do what he does best. However when the Serb wasn’t fulfilling his responsibility completely, Fabregas was forced to join in and give the team defensive solidity.

Cesc and Costa

It’s not surprising to see that Fabregas gradually improved his form in the second half of the campaign after Guus Hiddink slowly marginalized Matic and rather preferred to play John Mikel Obi alongside Fabregas in the pivot. The Nigerian doesn’t offer the same quality as Matic but proved to be an able deputy during the final months of the season. Now Conte must make his own mark on the midfield and make sure that the Spanish midfielder is part of his plans. During his time at Arsenal and Barcelona, he was often seen playing in the number 10 or number 9 role but it is his role deeper in the midfield where he is most effective.

It’s exciting times ahead for all Chelsea fans; the club has a new manager, an array of world class players who are capable of changing the direction of a match single handedly and a youth academy which keeps on churning out talented youngsters one after another. Conte must make sure that he brings all of it together and creates the next generation of successful superstars.