Chelsea have been out of the running for a second successive Premier League title for some time. The Blues have secured 60 points from a possible 99, and Chelsea are now 27 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City. Stock is being taken by the Blues hierarchy, and decisions must be made on the current side for next term. One player that Chelsea must decide whether to keep is Cesc Fabregas. With just one year left on his contract, Chelsea need to ask themselves if Cesc Fabregas’ time us up at Stamford Bridge amid his current decline?
Is Cesc Fabregas’ time a Chelsea up?
Fabregas joined Chelsea in 2014 for a fee of £30 million. Fabregas’ time at Stamford Bridge has been a success as the Spaniard has collected two Premier League titles and one League Cup. However, this season has seen Fabregas look a step off the pace in many of his Chelsea performances. Despite the Blues’ win over Southampton on Saturday, there were times that he was late tracking back and large holes in the centre of midfield were created.
Fabregas has featured 29 times foe Antonio Conte’s team with 22 of those appearances coming as starts. The midfielder has returned one goal and four assists for those 29 Premier League appearances. If Fabregas fails to score again this term, then it will mark his lowest goals scored tally in the Premier League since 2006-2007 when he scored two for Arsenal. In the Spaniard’s two previous seasons with Chelsea, he tallied five league goals per season.
Cesc Fabregas’ contract
Fabregas’ contract with Chelsea will expire in the summer of 2019, which could influence the club to sell the midfielder this offseason. Now 30, the Blues may still cash-in on the player for a sizeable fee. According to Transfermarkt, Fabregas is still worth nearly £30m on the player market.
Would a top Premier League club eye up Fabregas for next season or a club from Spain’s La Liga?
Reports this spring have indicated the midfielder would make a return to Arsenal. However, that move would possibly be as a coach. If he would go back as a player, it would be an interesting return, as Fabregas left the Gunners to win trophies. He is now on the wrong side of 30, which makes it hard to believe Arsene Wenger would part with a large chunk of money to re-sign him.
In March, Fabregas was called a “world-class midfielder in decline”. It is a statement that doesn’t take stats to backup. Watching the Blues’ midfielder in action shows just how off his once high game he is. But looking into his statistics reaffirms how far he has fallen off the pace.
This season, Fabregas has played 2,048 minutes compared to last year’s 1,328. Even with more playing time, his goals and assists are all down. In Chelsea’s Premier League winning season of 2016-17, Fabregas appeared as a substitute in more games than as a starter. He still managed five goals and a remarkable 12 assists.
Fabregas hasn’t had the benefit of playing next to both N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic this term. But once again that shows Conte’s poor assembling of the Blues in the summer of 2017.
Fabregas could be one of the first Chelsea players out the door in the summer. However, with Conte expected to leave in the offseason, a new manager could keep Fabregas at Stamford Bridge.