Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino says Cesc Fabregas is a better fit for Jose Mourinho’s side than the departed Juan Mata and has backed the midfielder to help win the club the title this season.
Having originally left Arsenal for Barcelona in August 2011, many fans are eager to see whether the Spain international’s £30 million return to the Premier League will see him rediscover the form he showcased during his time at the Emirates, following a somewhat frustrating spell in his homeland.
His impressive pre-season serving as an encouraging sign, Cascarino thinks the ex-Gunners captain will feel he has a point to prove now he’s back in English football and, while Mata was deemed expendable enough for Mourinho to ship him off to rivals Manchester United last winter, the ex-Blues marksman thinks his compatriot is the perfect fit for the Portuguese manager’s lineup.
‘It's a real smart one signing Fabregas. He gives them something different because it's a guy who's got a bit of a point to prove. Arsenal fans will tell you how good he was for them,’ he told talkSPORT.
‘You can look at Mata and think he's quite similar to Fabregas in some ways but Fabregas is a little bit nastier. I don't mean that in a bad way but he's got that nastiness, where he will put his foot in and win it back a little bit more often. He's got that bit more ability on the ball than Mata.
‘Mata is still a fabulous player but it's intriguing that he's gone for that little bit more with Fabregas, who I think will come back to England really with the bit between the teeth and a point to prove after an indifferent spell where he couldn't get into that Barcelona team.’
With Jose Mourinho having already talked up the 27-year-old as the future of his side, Cascarino believe that if he and fellow marquee summer signing Diego Costa perform up to expectations in 2014-15 then Chelsea are certain to win the title.
‘The difference if they win the title is going to be their two new signings up front - it’s going to be Fabregas and Costa,’ he said.
‘If they are successful in performing and replacing what [Didier] Drogba and [Frank] Lampard gave Chelsea, then they will win the league. There is no doubt in my mind they will win the league if those two perform.’