Three Cesc Fabregas replacements Chelsea should consider in January
Fabregas has entered the final 12 months of his existing Chelsea deal and he will be free to speak to other clubs after December. The 31-year-old will able to leave on a free transfer, which could tempt the Blues to cash in this winter.
The Spaniard has featured just once for Chelsea so far – in their Community Shield defeat to Manchester City. A knee injury has sidelined Fabregas from Chelsea’s first four league matches this season and playing time could be limited considering the midfield options Maurizio Sarri has at his disposal.
Fabregas, who joined Chelsea in 2014 for £27m after a three-year spell at Barcelona, may decide to move on if he fails to receive regular game time. At 31 years of age, he’s no longer the willing runner that he once was and it seems like the Spaniard’s time at Stamford Bridge is coming to an end.
Keeping that in mind, here are three replacements Sarri should consider in January.
Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon)
Replacing Fabregas will be no easy feat but Lyon starlet Tanguy Ndombele could be the perfect option.
Ndombele enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season at Lyon last season under Bruno Genesio. The 21-year-old is a very good passer of the ball, with the Frenchman rarely losing possession in the middle of the park.
Ndombele registered six assists last season and while he certainly isn’t the finished article by any means, he could be a long-term solution to Chelsea’s midfield.
Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)
A midfielder of immense talent, Marco Verratti’s progress at Paris Saint-Germain in recent years has been crystal clear. Even though he initially had a tendency to lose the ball often, experience and maturity have turned the Italian into a classy midfielder.
A technically gifted deep-lying playmaker, Verratti is composed in possession and has a keen eye for a pass. His abilities and playing style are very similar to Italian legend Andrea Pirlo.
While Verratti is not the fastest of midfielders, he certainly possesses a decent turn of pace and has an excellent delivery from dead ball situations. In fact, he is far more mobile than Fabregas is and the Italian should be capable enough to deal with the rigours of Premier League football.
Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)
A La Masia product, Thiago is a brilliant passer of the ball and a fantastic dribbler. He is highly creative with excellent ball control and retention. He is a technically gifted playmaker capable of dictating and controlling games against some of Europe’s best sides.
Thiago’s slightness and agility allow him to skip into space and past a marker. He is sleek and has the skill to take the ball up the pitch and create dangerous situations. With a great balance, the Spaniard retains possession in tight spaces, leading to extremely efficient games.
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The Bayern playmaker’s silky smooth style of play makes him a joy to watch. It would be very hard to lure him to Stamford Bridge but Chelsea should go as high as possible to land Thiago.