Cesc Fabregas : The Assist Maestro
Ever since he was signed by Jose Mourinho in the summer, Cesc Fabregas has literally taken Chelsea to a whole new level. He is on top of the assist leaderboard with 15; way ahead of second placed Leighton Baines with 8. With 15 assists already this season, Fabregas has also set a new Premier League record by becoming the first player ever to have had two seasons with at least 15 assists. The other season being in 2007-08, when Fabregas finished with 17 assists for Arsenal.
Fabregas reached the 15th assist mark in the match against Swansea, when he played a delightful through ball to Diego Costa in the box, as Costa scored Chelsea’s second goal in the 5-0 rout. Thierry Henry holds the record for the highest number of assists in a single season, with 20. With 16 more matches to go and Fabregas only 5 assists behind, it would be a safe bet to say that he will break that record this season.
Fabregas’ partnership with striker Costa has been the cornerstone of Chelsea’s success in front of goal this season. Last season, Chelsea had struggled to unlock stubborn defenses due to lack of a prolific striker and a player like him. Teams that loved to sit back and defend with ten players in the box often got the better of Chelsea with strikers Torres, Ba and Eto’o failing to find the back of the net with regularity. The team had to depend mostly on the abilities of Eden Hazard and other midfielders in order to score. But buying Fabregas has changed that scenario significantly.
Not only is he a good assist maker, Fabregas is very adept at running the show from midfield. With exquisite touches, Fabregas makes the players around him tick. With telepathic understanding with players like Oscar and Hazard, Chelsea have improved their possession percentage from last season. Fabregas has even got on the score sheet twice this season, with great goals against Crystal Palace and Schalke. Evidently, his direct contribution to the number of goals has been truly amazing.
This season, the introduction of Fabregas in midfield has brought in the X-factor to Chelsea. It seems as though he was the missing piece in the puzzle. With impressive work rate, along with such an enormous number of assists, Fabregas may well go on to become the most influential player of the team this season.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni