Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been praising new signing Cesc Fabregas and believes he could be the missing key in the Premier League title race.
The Spanish international playmaker joined the Blues from Barcelona for a reported £27million fee before the World Cup, despite reports linking him with a return to former club Arsenal.
The breaking news came as a shock to fans both in Spain and England as many, including Mourinho, predicted that Fabregas would go on to be Xavi’s long-term replacement at the heart of Barcelona’s midfield.
“I always thought Cesc would be a Barcelona player because he is so good and, being a Catalan and with the end of Xavi’s career coming, I thought that Fabregas would stay there.” The Portuguese coach explained, quoted by the Mirror.
Nevertheless, the West Londoners seized the opportunity to add to their ranks and with Fabregas’ ability and Premier League experience, some might suggest at a bargain price too.
When pressed on what the 27-year-old can offer Chelsea this season, Mourinho revealed his new midfielder’s biggest attributes and stated that he could be the one who makes the difference between winning and finishing second in this season’s Premier League title race.
"His best quality is the speed where he analyses the game and executes. He is difficult to shake off the ball or make the wrong decision. He can accelerate the intensity of the game or he can reduce it. He’s very intelligent, and he has goals. He is the missing piece.”
Cesc Fabregas played 212 Premier League games for Arsenal during his time at the Emirates, scoring 35 goals and adding a further 77 assists.
Last season for the Catalans, his 13 assists was La Liga’s second highest behind Real Madrid star Angel Di Maria.