Chelsea fans will have been delighted to hear news of Cesc Fabregas signing for the club. Often, when a quality player is signed from a foreign club, there’s a lingering doubt as to whether their abilities can shine in the rigorous environment of the Premier League.
The Fabregas deal however contains no such codicil. Here’s a tried and tested player, a proven performer with the required mentality to be a success in the English game. It may be a truly significant acquisition as Jose Mourinho seeks to re-shape the Chelsea squad he inherited into something a little more to his particular taste. But while Blues’ fans purr with satisfaction at the signing, it may cause some disquiet around the squad itself.
With Chelsea seemingly committed to a 4-2-3-1 formation, and new striker Diego Costa at its spearhead, there may be some consternation as to who would be the first choice three behind the Spain international. Before Fabregas’ arrival, it would probably have been fairly straightforward. Eden Hazard, of course, would be there as the club’s outstanding talent. The industrious Willian has rapidly become a firm favourite of Mourinho and would surely feature, with the third element probably being the young Brazilian Oscar, assuming a brief rest after the World Cup will be enough to cure any niggling injuries and recharge his batteries for a new campaign. These three, plus a bit off juggling with Andre Schurrle and Mo Salah would probably be the situation. Dropping Fabregas into the pool however, may cause a few ripples. After laying out such a transfer fee, it surely seems likely that he will play, so who will miss out?
Quite possibly, it could be Oscar. PSG have now apparently been thwarted in their attempts to persuade Hazard to cross the Channel to join them, but if the Qatari-backed club reckon that Fabregas could be a replacement for Oscar, they may consider putting a deal together for the Brazilian.
It may be of course, that Mourinho sees Fabregas’ role somewhat similar to the departed Frank Lampard. Playing alongside Nemanja Matic in front of the back four, would certainly mean him seeing more of possession, but would it be in the areas where his talent could hurt the opposition? Probably not. Additionally, with Matic, Ramires and the returning Dutch international Marc van Ginkel already disputing two spots, there Is already plenty of competition for places there.
The transfer window this summer is already shaping up to be an interesting one for Chelsea and in the weeks to come – especially after the World Cup – don’t be surprised to see a few comings and goings at Stamford Bridge.
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