After leaving Barcelona for Chelsea in a £27 million deal last summer, Cesc Fàbregas hit the ground running on his return to the Premier League with 6 assists in his first four games. The 27-year-old was quickly labelled as the creative force that the West London club had previously been missing.
However, the Spaniard’s form has appeared to have dipped recently with his assists drying up completely, his fifteenth and last coming away to Swansea on 17th January. At that stage his closest rival in Europe was ex-Chelsea player Kevin De Bruyne who at the time had 10 assists but has since made a further 5 more to now match Fàbregas on 15.
Opta-powered European fantasy football game Oulala took a thorough look at Fàbregas’ stats both before Christmas and after to see if it is just his assists that has suffered, the results were conclusive.
With the midfielder having made 16 league appearances before Christmas and 8 appearances after, the data was analysed via a per minute basis.
Fàbregas has only scored 2 goals this season, both coming early on, however the 27-year-old has failed to find the net in his last 8 games. It took the Spaniard 118 minutes to provide each of his 13 assists in his first 16 games, however since then it has taken him almost double that for his last 3 assists (227 minutes).
The midfielder appears to have been slightly less involved in games of late with 98 touches per 90 minutes to 104 touches previously. He is also making fewer passes at a rate of 79 per 90 minutes to 87 before. His pass completion rate has also dropped from 87% to 84%. Fàbregas has made fewer key passes recently with one every 43 minutes to every 26 minutes before.
Even his success with crosses has suffered, dropping from a rate of 24% to 17%, which is of concern due to the fact that he takes the majority of corners at Chelsea.
There is no denying that Fàbregas is still a top player but his sudden drop in form in all of the key areas will have no doubt caught manager Jose Mourinho’s attention. Can the Spaniard bounce back to the player his was before Christmas in Chelsea’s hunt for their first Premier League title in five years?