Is keeping Cesc Fabregas injury free Chelsea’s biggest priority this season?

Fabregas Barcelona

Cesc Fabregas could guide Chelsea to the Premier League title this season, if he remains injury free.

Fabregas has a less than stellar injury record for the past few years, although his last seasons with Barcelona were fairly free from long absences.

Seven games missed for the Spanish giants was a vast improvement upon his Arsenal career, when the 27-year-old midfielder missed 68 games between 2007 and 2011. Although he remained free of injury at Camp Nou, he endured something of a burn out in the second half of each of his three seasons - and Chelsea will be hoping that the same thing does not happen at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard’s early career in West London has brought a return of three goals and 14 assists in 22 games across all competitions, and it has been creativity from a deep-lying position that has been vital for the Blues in storming to the top of the Premier League table. A drop of form in his performance was heavily felt by the side last month, but he looks back to his best, and head coach Jose Mourinho will be looking for Fabregas to lead the charge across the intense run of fixtures throughout the festive period.

However, the intense run of games could be the thing that causes Fabregas to burn out for the second half of the season, and Mourinho should be wary of overusing the Spaniard in needless games so as to keep him fresh.

The Blues have been incredibly lucky with injuries this term - with only Loic Remy and Diego Costa truly missing extended periods of time - and their medical department have a lot to do with that - but they should still be looking to take care of Fabregas.

He should be substituted in games that are all-but won, and, although fighting for trophies on all fronts, there is no real need for the 27-year-old to be used in the FA Cup third round tie with Watford, or any successive ties against lower league opposition.

Staying on top of Fabregas’s fitness could prove vital in the second half of the season as the title race draws to a close, and, based on his form so far, Chelsea will be given a much easier fight for the trophy should he remain fit. Playing every minute of every game is the ideal vision for a professional footballer, but, for someone like Fabregas who has a history of injury, there is a strong argument that his fitness should be placed ahead of his personal happiness.

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