It was announced today that Spanish midfielder Francesc Fabregas would be joining Chelsea FC for a transfer fee of almost £30 million. The now ex-Barcelona midfielder will join Diego Costa as the Blues’ newest players. Fabregas will finally return to the EPL after three years with the Blaugranas.
Make no doubt about it: Fabregas is known as one of Spain’s best players, being able to fit a number of positions that could potentially have him starting anywhere from a deep-lying playmaker to second striker. However, his three-year stint with Barcelona was extremely disappointing. He was brought over as Xavi‘s eventual replacement, but never managed to get ahead of him in the pecking order.
It all culminated in just one Copa del Rey and one La Liga title. This all leads to the question: is Fabregas still the dangerous midfielder he once was for Arsenal?
Yes he is. Whether it was Pep Guardiola, the late Tito Vilanova, or Gerardo Martino, no coach at Barcelona was ever able to use Fabregas in his natural position. Too often, he was deployed on the wings where he could play well, but no groundbreaking performances would come out of that.
When he was put in as a false striker, it only crowded the midfield and led to Barcelona abusing the possession with little finish. But now that he’ll find a fresh start in London, he can finally go back to his natural role of playing behind the strikers, creating chances throughout the field and helping out the defense whenever possible.
With Frank Lampard‘s almost-certain departure, Fabregas will have the opportunity to fill in the shoes of the Blues’ legend. He will have competition in the midfield with the likes of Oscar, Ramires and John Obi Mikel all vying for starting roles, but Fabregas is used to even higher quality competition from his time with Barcelona.
Fabregas will be a starter next season, and will be able to provide Chelsea with a unique combination of defense, accurate passes, excellent technique, sublime finishing and championship experience.
And at just a little under £30 million, that’s quite the bargain.
Final Grade: A-