Jose Mourinho believes that Chelsea new-boy, Cesc Fabregas, is the future of the football club.
Fabregas was bought in from Barcelona over the summer for a fee of £27 million and Mourinho says that 27-year-old has the potential to be a club legend – even comparing him with Frank Lampard, who left Stamford Bridge to join New York City FC last month.
“Frank is the history of the club, history nobody can forget,” said Mourinho.
“Fàbregas is the future; history is history but the future is more important at the moment.
“My opinion, and the opinion of my players, is that Fàbregas is the right player to occupy that central position in midfield.”
It is an intriguing statement in more than one way as not only does it identify just how important Fabregas is to Mourinho’s plans at Chelsea, but it also shows where he will be utilised this season.
There have been many question marks over the position the Spaniard would be used in, given his versatility, but it appears that he is set to be stationed in a deep-lying role.
Many had questioned whether Fabregas’ arrival would lead to Oscar being reduced to a rotational role in attacking midfield, but the Brazilian still is part of Mourinho’s first-team plans, it would appear.
Fabregas, instead, will play alongside Nemanja Matic when the season kicks off and his arrival signifies a transition in Mourinho’s Chelsea tactics.
Whilst Ramires, David Luiz and Lampard were used in that position last season, none possessed the natural vision, passing and creativity that Fabregas does and were more suited to the Portuguese boss' rigid, defensive style.
Fabregas, however, allows him to play with a bit more attacking threat and given Matic’s defensive qualities Chelsea look set to be a much more forward-thinking unit this season.
It is because of this that Fabregas can be seen as the future of the club. He is not just another quality player being added to the first-team, he is a player who has allowed Mourinho to alter his style and Chelsea fans will be hoping that it is a new philosophy which will win them the Premier League.
How big a role will Fabregas play this season?