How can Fabregas and Costa arrival impact Hazard at Chelsea?

Chelsea confirmed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas but how will the Spain international combine with the Blues’ star man next term?

The 27-year-old Spaniard has confirmed his move to join Chelsea, returning to the Premier League where he spent eight years with Arsenal, after three years with boyhood club Barcelona.

The fee reported of £30 million is an astute purchase by Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese coach sold Fabregas’ Spain colleague Juan Mata to Manchester United for £37.1 million just six months ago.

With Arsenal, Fabregas operated much the same position as Mata had previously for Chelsea, as an attacking midfield playmaker but for Barcelona he has played in central and defensive midfield and even as a ‘false 9’ forward previously.

Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s most dangerous player, is a talent combining immense technical ability, creativity, pace and efficiency in front of goal evidenced by his impressive tally of 17 goals and 10 assists in all competitions for the Blues last term.

The Belgian international can undoubtedly still improve, still only 23 years of age, and is hailed as having the potential to emulate the performance and consistency of Cristiano Ronaldo in the future.

Hazard is a player capable of making his own opportunities but there were numerous occasions last season when he seemed to be the star of the show, driving the play, whilst certainly the strikers alongside him were underachieving and perhaps the central midfield were not providing him with enough ammunition going forward.

The general consensus is that Mata was sold due to his lack of defensive ability but Fabregas is certainly a capable ball-winner and all round competitor who combines technical quality and creativity similar to that of Mata but with perhaps more steal and grit with no reservations about getting stuck in to challenges.

Fabregas averages between 15 and 20 goals per season and between 15 and 25 assists but he is far more dangerous when playing alongside players with pace who make intelligent runs and that is exactly what Hazard brings to the party.

Furthermore, when you consider the signing of Diego Costa, Mourinho will have some of the most dangerous players on the planet as well as strength and durability in his midfield and defensive lines. A starting line-up could look like this:

Cech/Courtois – Ivanovic – Cahill – Terry - Azpilicueta – Matic – Fabregas – Oscar – Willian – Hazard - Costa

That is a real threat and probably too much for the vast majority of defences to handle. There will likely be spaces opened up for Costa and vice versa with Hazard able to exploit the gaps left by defenders to maintain protection against Costa.

With the passing capability of Fabregas behind, Hazard will be found in space time and time again and could go onto score as many if not more than he did last season.

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