Chelsea manger Jose Mourinho has hailed Cesc Fabregas after his hot start to life at Stamford Bridge, and admits that the Spanish midfielder’s professionalism has exceeded even his own high expectations.
Owing to his time in charge of Real Madrid, Mourinho was thought to have a tense relationship with the then-Barcelona star prior to this summer, but the Portuguese boss jumped at the chance to bring him back to England when it became clear that his services were no longer required at the Camp Nou.
Arriving in June for £30 million, after Arsene Wenger opted against re-signing him for Arsenal, Fabregas has since been in fine form on the other side of London, recording a remarkable eight assists in 10 total appearances, moving Mourinho to praise not just his performances but also his attitude.
‘He is a better guy than I thought. He is a fantastic guy, a fantastic professional,’ he told ITV.
‘Now I understand why at the the age of 19, 20 or 21 he was the Arsenal captain. He is not the captain here because we have a different philosophy, but his personality and his profile is fantastic. His brain is connected to my brain during the matches.
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‘He thinks faster than others. His position is perfect for him, our understanding is so good. I have a lot of good players but this guy is in the group of the top ones.
‘He wants to win, he wants to work. He is humble. He wants to learn, he wants to work for the team, not for himself.
‘Obviously in Barcelona people don't understand so well how good he was because he played sometimes in a position that wasn't adapted to his qualities’ he added. ‘But I have known for many years he was a top player.
‘I don't want top guys, I want top players, but if you are lucky to realise after just a couple of months that you have brought a top player and at the same time a top guy it is brilliant.’