It was only six months ago when Jose Mourinho ratified the sale of one skilful Spaniard, Juan Mata, to Manchester United. Yet here he is, in the subsequent transfer window, signing another technically-adept midfielder; Francesc Fabregas.
This was probably not part of master plan. But more a case of why wouldn't you pass up the opportunity to acquire a genuinely elite-level talent?
Only Arsene Wenger will know the answer to that - and it may be down to a case of personnel. The Frenchman does, after all, already possess Mesut Ozil in his roster, yet Wenger himself acknowledges the multi-faceted ability of Cesc. He can operate effectively in one of the two roles in a deep midfield of a 4-2-3-1, as the trequartista behind the one, or even as an auxiliary striker.
What is Arsenal's loss - and it is, genuinely, a loss - is Chelsea's gain, as the Blues procure a Premier League experienced star, a proven chance creator at the very highest echelons of European football, a title winner in Spain and a World Cup winner; he even has 89 international caps and is set to bank more this summer.
But does he even compare to Mata, or Ozil?
While the United playmaker and Gunners trequartista are more prolific when it comes to chance creation, Fabregas is the more versatile footballer and, despite accusations that the cause of his failure at Barcelona was down to his inability to function in a disciplined line-up, he has all the hallmarks of establishing himself as a true Chelsea great.
|Team||Pos||Pass /App||Pass Acc||Mins /Chance||Assist||Shot Acc||Goal||Tackle /App||Intercept /App||App||Min|
Out of all three players, Ozil is the one who is most frequently on the football, he even receives 80 touches on the ball per game on average (and broke the century barrier six times in Premier League duty last season). It therefore stands to logic that, with his passing accuracy, he is able to influence a match - he creates a clear goal-scoring opportunity once every 28 minutes.
Whilst Ozil is accused of being timid in front of goal, his precision is twice as good as Mata's, but, as is demonstrated by Fabregas' overall assist haul, his goal tally, his tackle rate and also his passing statistic, he is the greater all-round midfielder based on last season's performance alone.
He was quoted by the official website to have said that his Premier League return was motivated by an "unfinished business" mentality - clearly he wants the title. And, considering he could be featuring alongside Nemanja Matic, behind the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Diego Costa, Chelsea suddenly have an awe-inspiring, tactically-versatile and well-balanced unit.
He may well end up getting that title in his first season as a Blue, a medal he failed to win despite eight seasons in North London.
"I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice," the 27-year-old said.
"They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies. They have an amazing squad of players and an incredible manager.
"I am fully committed to this team and I can't wait to start playing."
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