Thursday, March 30, 2023

Old Weakness Coming Back To Haunt Chelsea’s Forgotten Midfielder

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

When a young Fabregas slowly started being a regular in Arsenal’s first team back in 2005- 2006 season after the surprising move of Patrick Vieira to Juventus, his physical presence and lack of defensive prowess had attracted a lot of scrutiny from the critics.

It seems that his weakness has come back to haunt the attacking midfielder. Under Conte’s management, where the Blues are finally looking to put behind their nightmarish previous season, Fabregas does not fit it the puzzle. The issue, however, goes way back.

Taking on the no. 4 from his French colleague Vieira, who had a huge presence in the Arsenal midfield, Fabregas was seen by many as a failed successor in that position. Fabregas, however, with his perfect passing and vision achieved a name under Wenger’s tactics, which gave him enough space to operate with his strong arm after being given a more attacking role.

The story repeated in Barcelona, though he never really broke into the first team. Fabregas’ peak point came when he moved to Chelsea under Mourinho’s management. Mourinho’s playing style brought out the best in the Spaniard, with him sitting behind the central attack with Oscar and feeding inch-perfect long passes to Diego Costa.

The rot started when Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea and the Chelsea fans held Fabregas, Oscar and Costa’s poor performance for Chelsea’s pathetic season. He was booed off by the crowd.

Matters have still not improved for him, though Chelsea is en route to better days under Conte. Fabregas has been reduced to an unused substitute this season. Although Conte has praised Fabregas recently for his inspiring performances on the pitch and in training, he has not started the midfielder much in the Premier League games.

Things would turn out to be worse if he continues to stay on the bench. According to Mirror, AC Milan has shown immense interest in the midfielder. Reports also say that the Italian giants had sent their scouting team to Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Leicester. Owing to Ricardo Montolivo’s injury, which is understood to be serious enough to put him away for months, Milan want Fabregas as his replacement.

Reports are also ripe that the Italian team is one the verge of being taken over by a Chinese consortium. Milan’s would be chief executive and director of sport, Marco Fassone and Massimiliano Mirabelli, were present in the Leicester game that Chelsea won.

Fabregas wants to fight for his place in the team, however, with Chelsea’s large loan lineup, many of whom are ending their loan period, his place looks immensely in danger.

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