Chelsea: Fabregas absence discussed; Conte on Terry's role; new contract for striker
One player that hasn’t managed to force his way into Antonio Conte’s plans is Cesc Fabregas and there have been rumours linking him with a move away from Stamford Bridge. Sky Sports analyse why he has fallen out of favour and evaluate that it is due to Conte favouring complete midfielders, such as Ngolo Kante. Meanwhile, there is no need for a creative midfielder like Fabregas as the Blues are threatening from all angles in attack at the moment. The move to a 3-4-3 formation has reduced the Spanish midfielder’s first team chances even further as he isn’t great in a two-man midfield.
It was expected that Fabregas might be used in a similar role to the one that Claudio Marchisio carried out in Conte’s Juventus side. However, that hasn’t been the case and the Spaniard now finds himself surplus to requirements. Despite being one of the best midfielders of his generation, this is the second time that Fabregas has found himself surplus to requirements as the same thing happened at Barcelona. This highlights the limitations to his game and it will be interesting to see where he moves next. A move to Serie A could suit him and there has been interest from AC Milan, a club that is on the up at the moment.
Antonio Conte has been discussing what he expects from his captain in light of John Terry’s current situation. The Chelsea captain hasn’t been playing since the change to a 3-4-3 formation as he lacks the mobility required to be successful in a three-man defence. It took a U-turn from the club to keep Terry at Stamford Bridge at the end of last season, but it looks like they did this for his experience, rather than ability on the pitch.
“The captain must always be an example for his team-mates,”
“If he plays or if he doesn’t play, he must always stay in the middle in the changing room as an example.”
There was always going to be a point where Terry was no longer good enough to be a regular in the first team. The comments from Conte suggest that his captain will remain out of the first team for the foreseeable future, which is understandable as the defence has been performing at a high level. Terry can still play a major part for the club this season, especially as we reach the run in, as he has experience that few others in the squad possess.
Finally, Chelsea are eager to extend the contract of Diego Costa after his excellent run of goal-scoring form at the beginning of this season. There were rumours linking him with a return to Atletico Madrid during the summer and Chelsea will be aware of that. They won’t want to allow Costa’s contract reach a point which allows other clubs to make their move. The Spanish international has also done enough to earn a pay rise ahead of what should be the peak years of his career.
There is something special being built at Stamford Bridge as Conte rights the wrongs of last season. The decision to trust the rebuild to Conte is now looking like an inspired decision as the Blues are establishing themselves as title challengers. Diego Costa is crucial to the way that Chelsea play football and leads the line in an impressive fashion. He has already surged to the top of the Premier League scoring charts and could be ready to stay there for the rest of the season. After a slightly underwhelming campaign last year, Costa is proving his quality this season and deserves a new contract. Chelsea need to do everything in their power to keep hold of their star striker.
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