Into the 21st minute of his return to Premier League football, Cesc Fabregas showed a sign of things to come when he played an exquisite first time pass for Andre Schurrle to run onto and score at Turf Moor.
By the half way point of the season, he had made the most passes, touched the ball more times than anyone else whilst creating the most chances and registering the most assists. He added another assist in the 5-3 defeat at White Hart Lane to make it 14 assists, more than anyone else did last year.
Enough credit cannot be given to Nemanja Matic who has been one of the players of the season alongside Fabregas. With a league highest 55 tackles to his name, the Serb marshals the defence like an experienced pro and provides a base for his Spanish partner to build on. Matic has made the third highest passes in the league with 1095, and the duo form the best midfield partnership in the league by a distance.
The Spanish pass master started off with an incredible six assists in his first four games for Chelsea as they went top of the table with four wins in four, and have remained there till now. His first goal for his new club followed as the Londoners opened their Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Schalke. The Spaniard had to wait till mid-October for his first Premier League goal, but it was worth the wait. It came at Selhurst Park where both sides had been reduced to ten-men by half time. Fabregas exchanged a couple of delightful one-two’s with first Eden Hazard and then with Oscar, before slotting in Chelsea’s second goal to seal an important win.
Though he got only one more league goal, away at the Britannia, the assists have kept on flowing and so have the incredible midfield displays. Some of his stats are astounding. Of the 1641 passes he has attempted, 49 more than Yaya Toure, 116 were accurate long balls. He plays 2.57 key passes per game, while creating 3.31 chances for the likes of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard to convert.
Of the 25 assists from corners in the Premier League this season, the 27-year-old has five of those while no player has created more clear-cut chances in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season than the Spaniard (14) while he also leads the chances created column in the league with 64.
One of the other prominent names to have benefitted by the summer signing’s arrival has been Eden Hazard. The Belgian’s star is rising by the day and he is reaching levels which are unplayable. Fabregas’ ability to pick a pass and find teammates in the tightest of space has undoubtedly led to them thriving unlike last season. He spots their runs like it’s a training ground exercise when his side attack but on the other hand also does his defensive duties diligently. With 2.8 tackles per game, and the street smart attitude to break up play, he has become Mourinho’s dream player, something even the Portuguese wouldn’t have envisaged.
Just half way into the season, Fabregas’ performances have endeared him to Chelsea supporters and they are set to achieve unparalleled successes together. He is just reaching the peak of his career, and it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which he wouldn’t retire as a Chelsea legend.