As of today, Antonio Conte is no longer Chelsea manager. The Italian has finally been given his marching papers from Roman Abramovich after a tumultuous season.
The duo’s relationship reportedly broke down after the 48-year-old accused the club of signing players without his consent Regardless, it’s now believed that Maurizio Sarri will replace Conte and implement his own brand of football.
Some players will be relieved to see the back of the Italian while other players will know their playing time will never be the same. Cesc Fàbregas is one of the players more than happy to see his former manager head to the exit door as he & Conte have had qualms over his playing time recently.
Now that a new era has begun at Stamford Bridge, there will be a lot of transfer activity at the club, both incoming and outgoing. So, that begs the question…
Should Chelsea keep or sell Cesc Fàbregas?
Cesc Fàbregas is one of the most creative players the Premier League has ever seen. Over the years, the Spaniard has dazzled us with his exceptional passing range and bewitching vision. In his Premier League, he’s provided 111 assists and scored 50 goals, making him one of the most productive Premier League players in history.
Since joining Chelsea in 2014, Fàbregas has made over 132 appearances. In that time the 31-year-old has won four trophies, including two Premier League titles. That’s quite a successful stint by any stretch of the imagination. However, at 31 years of age, Cesc’s time at the top level may be coming to an end.
Let’s weigh up the positives and negatives of Cesc Fàbregas’ situation at Chelsea:
- Ability: You’ll be hard-pressed to find another player in world football that has a final ball like the Spaniard. He may not be the quickest nor the strongest, but his ability to execute either a weighted through ball or lofted pass are second to none.
- Composure: Even with the deft-defying passes the Spaniard executes, he was still able to complete 83.5% of his passes last season. That’s what you call quality multiplied by calmness.
- Experienced: The Spaniard hasn’t just been successful at club level, he’s also experienced great success on the international stage. Fàbregas was a firm part of Spain’s golden generation helping them to win two European Championships and one World Cup. Such winners are hard to come by in today’s era.
- Age: Cesc Fàbregas is now 31 years old, which doesn’t bode well for his standing in the most physical league in the world. The very best teams in the league may view Fàbregas as a weak point to exploit due to his inability to keep up with the pace.
- Work Rate: Perhaps it has come with age but Cesc’s lack of effort in tracking back has been cited as his worst trait. This was the main sticking point in Conte and Cesc’s relationship, with the Italian wanting the 31-year-old to improve his defensive work rate.
If Chelsea were to sell Cesc Fàbregas this summer they’d have a hard time finding a replacement who could dictate the game the same way the Spaniard does. However, things must be looked at holistically. The 31-year-old currently only has one year left on his contract and a bid to sell him off this summer could be Chelsea’s only chance to cash in on him.