After eight years with Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas forced a transfer to his hometown club, Barcelona, in the summer if 2011. After three seasons at the Camp Nou, it looks like the Spanish midfielder wants a return to the Premier League. Renowned for his creative abilities, Fabregas is one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. His apparent interest to leave Barcelona has put many clubs on high alert.
Fabregas has been linked to a whole host of English clubs. The former Arsenal man has been linked to his former club Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City. It seems like a new club is in the lead for the signature of the Spanish midfielder every day lately. At the moment, Chelsea are apparently leading the way for Catalan midfielder. Jose Mourinho is hoping to lure the former Arsenal captain to West London.
Fabregas’s natural position is as a number 10. If the Spaniard was to go to Chelsea, his main competition for the number 10 role would be the small Brazilian midfielder, Oscar. After selling Juan Mata in favour of Oscar and calling him his future number 10, Jose Mourinho has cast doubt over the Brazilian’s future after admitting he was disappointed in his performances during the second half of the season. This opens the door for Fabregas to come in and try to displace him. Even with his disappointing second half of the season, Oscar was very impressive for Chelsea while the Spaniard had somewhat of a disappointing season at the Camp Nou.
The main role of the number 10 in any team is to dictate play and create chances. In his time at Arsenal, Fabregas was considered as one of the best midfielders in the league because of his creative abilities. The Spanish midfielder created a chance every 42 minutes while the Brazilian created one every 45. One of the reasons Fabregas hasn’t quite worked out at Barcelona is because he doesn’t have the same freedom he was given at Arsenal. In his last season at Arsenal, Fabregas created a chance every 26 minutes. When he can replicate that kind of form, the ex-Arsenal captain is one of the best players in the world. Fabregas also had many more assists than Oscar with 13 compared to Oscar’s two.
The great number ten’s in the game not only create chances but also are able to control the game. Fabregas had a superior pass completion percentage last season compared to Oscar completing 87% of his passes compared to the Brazilian’s 83%. One of Fabregas’ weaknesses at Arsenal was his inability to put the ball in the back of the net himself. If there is one thing you can definitively say Fabregas improved at Barcelona it was his goal scoring record. In his three seasons at the Camp Nou, the Spanish midfielder scored 28 league goals. He scored nine goals in his first season, 11 in his second, and 8 in his most recent league campaign. All of those seasons top all but one of his years in North London. Oscar saw his league goals drastically improve from his first season to his second season at Stamford Bridge. In 2013-2014, the Brazilian scored as many goals as the Barcelona midfielder with eight.
The biggest reason that this possible move does seem a bit strange is the fact that Jose Mourinho manages Chelsea. Mourinho’s style of football is the antithesis to the style Fabregas played at Arsenal and Barcelona. The Chelsea manager likes to play with a lot of structure and focuses on defending and countering instead of the open free flowing football Spainard is used to playing under Arsene Wenger, any of the Barcelona managers, and Vicente Del Bosque with Spain.
The two have also had hostile exchanges in the past. The most recent would have been when the the Barcelona midfielder indirectly called out the Chelsea manager in the media after the Portuguese man said this was a weak Barcelona team. The other stumbling block would be Fabregas’ connection with Arsenal. The midfielder, who formerly captained the Gunners, always said that he loves Arsenal and would only leave Barcelona for them. The more tangible stumbling block would be the buy back/first option clause Arsenal put in when they sold the Spaniard. If this deal is to happen then those stumbling blocks will have to be overcome. If it were to happen, Chelsea would have some player on their hands and an upgrade on what they have now.