Chelsea FC have been linked with a move for former Arsenal captain and current Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas. The target of the player seems surprising to some, and many supporters believe this would not be a wise move for Chelsea to pursue, for a variety of reasons. The most common complaint that I’ve run into while researching the potential acquisition of the Spanish star, is that he does not “fit” into Jose Mourinho’s side that predominantly ran a 4-2-3-1 formation last season. Numerous supporters have claimed that we already have a player in Oscar that effectively makes the purchase of Fabregas useless, because (despite wearing No. 11) Oscar is a number 10 in his creative abilities with the club.
According to the folks over at We Aint Got No History, this logic is flawed based on a careful examination of how Oscar actually plays for Chelsea. Per WAGNH, this argument
” neglects the fact Oscar is hardly shackled by playing number 10 in a 4-2-3-1. Rather, he’s always on the move. There’s actually little to distinguish between Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 and a ’4-3-3-’, because Oscar often drops into deep, right-sided positions near the centre circle to collect passes.”
Another reason supporters are hesitant to warm up to Fabregas from a tactical standpoint is his supposed inability to play the ‘pivot’ role in the CDM position (the ’2′ in the 4-2-3-1, where he would slot alongside Nemaja Matic). Again, per that wonderful article from WAGNH, Fabregas would not have to exclusively stay in that pivot role, due to the flexibility Jose Mourinho has installed in the ‘triangle’ of midfielders (the 2 CDMs and CAM). Last season when Oscar (or another No.10 player) came deep to search for a ball, the other ‘pivot’ player, usually Ramires, would fun forward. In this situation, Chelsea loses no attacking foothold and still allows players like Oscar to exercise his defensive attributes without overexposing the side as he might if placed in a permanent deeper position (in a hard 4-3-3- for example, as some have called for).
On a personal level, many fans object to signing Fabregas due to his personal history of animosity towards Chelsea, due to being a member of Arsenal and Barcelona, neither side a friend to the Blues. The player and our current manager were not exactly friend during their mutual time in Spain, as both represented different factions of El Classico. On that level, I feel like given enough time at the club, Fabregas would come around. Ashley Cole was a former Gunner, and he turned out to be one of the best players Chelsea have had, and clearly has a deep love for the club now. Surely Cesc can eventually see the (Blue) light after some time in SW6. If Jose Mourinho approves of the signing and the two have buried the hatchet of words spoken in Spain, I see no problem arising.
Many fans also would prefer the signing of another player over Fabregas, most notable Paul Pogba of Juventus. While the 21 year old French midfielder looks brilliant and poised for a breakout World Cup following a great season at Juve, he is an unproven commodity in England. Fabregas has already been not only successful in England, but a star at the heart of some very good Arsenal teams. He knows what it takes to win in England, and he can improve the side with that experience.
Again, tactically speaking Jose Mourinho maintains one of the best reputations in the game. I have no fear that from that standpoint, the signing of Cesc Fabregas would work out for Chelsea.
No matter what happens, I’m looking forward to a successful next season!
Follow us on Twitter at @PrideOLondon
Like us on Facebook at The Pride of London