How will Cesc Fabregas' potential last season at Chelsea go?
You can’t take it away from him. Cesc Fabregas is among the best tactically intelligent midfielders who ever played the Premier League. Kudos to Arsenal but, no English club reaped the fruits of Fabregas’ talent as much as Chelsea. Albeit, the curtain is falling fast on the Spaniard’s illustrious time with the Blues.
From all indications, Fabregas would not be a Chelsea player beyond the coming season. Of course, some Blues supporters wouldn’t want that to be true. Others might believe there’s still a big possibility that the midfield maestro will be remaining with Chelsea beyond 2019. I'll tell you what, that’s highly unlikely. Allow me a few paragraphs to back up my assertion.
At 31, Fabregas still has at least two years of top-flight football left in him. He’s, however, entering the period in his career when he can become laid-back and allow younger men to do the heavy lifting.
We have to ask ourselves if Cesc Fabregas is a luxury Chelsea can afford for more than one year. The former Arsenal captain is on a £156,000-per-week wage; that makes him Chelsea’s best-paid player behind Eden Hazard. With Roman Abramovich unwilling to splash the cash as he once used to; would the club be willing to keep an ageing player who’s gulping such a humongous salary? The simple answer is no.
There’s also the fact that Chelsea currently has some richly-talented midfielders who could become instrumental in the coming years at Fabregas expense. Tiemoué Bakayoko was Stamford Bridge's public enemy number one last season, but the French midfielder can only improve upon his poor debut campaign. So too will Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has done brilliantly, he can’t be left in the cold anymore. These players were nowhere close to Fabregas during his hay-days. Sadly, those days have passed.
Given that Chelsea is fully intent on being a serious title-contender; the blues are sure to strengthen their midfield with one or two tenacious midfielders like the Manchester clubs are doing. When that happens, players such as Fabregas are most likely to take a back seat.
Can Chelsea still count on their #4?
Since signing for Chelsea in 2014 from Barcelona, Fabregas has never been a peripheral figure at the West London club. The Catalan maestro has won every domestic title available in English football. All that is in the past, though. His future with the club doesn’t lie beyond this season. The man must make his last strike count.
On the matter of whether Chelsea can count on Fabregas this term; the answer is yes. The player is cut from a rare breed, who can make things happen with the ball, irrespective of their physical shortcomings. With 111 Premier League assists, only Ryan Giggs has laid on more goals in the competition's history. No doubt, he'll further add to that over the next twelve months.
With Chelsea competing in the Europa League this term, they’ll be needing all the help they can get, given the rigorous and lengthy nature of Europe’s second-tier club competition, Fabregas will be an asset to Chelsea’s squad depth.
Few players are as experienced as Fabregas in the English top-flight. That’s a resource Chelsea can draw from when the season becomes choking.
Be that as it may, Fabregas’ ultimate Chelsea campaign might end with him spending more time on the bench than he’s ever experienced. You can’t rule that out. A new manager might come in with a philosophy that relegates Fabregas to the fringes. If that happens, then the eclipse of the Spaniard’s Chelsea career might come quicker than anticipated. Perhaps in January.
The goals and assists have come down to a tickle for the midfielder. He scored three and assisted five last season. That's quite uncharacteristic for a player who once notched 18 Premier League assists in a single season. Nevertheless, Fabregas should be able to earn his keep for one last season with Chelsea. Don’t expect him to blow you away. He probably won’t.