Antonio Conte has admitted that he has been delighted by Cesc Fabregas’ attitude at Chelsea this season despite the Spaniard’s lack of playing time.
The Spanish midfielder has failed to hold down a regular starting spot in the Chelsea team this season following the arrival of N’Golo Kante from Leicester City in the summer transfer window.
Conte has largely favoured a central midfield partnership of Nemanja Matic and Kante this season, meaning that Fabregas has had to watch from the sidelines for much of the campaign.
However, the former Arsenal captain has impressed when called upon this season, and Conte has been delighted with the 29-year-old’s application to the cause at Stamford Bridge this term.
Speaking to Chelsea’s website before the FA Cup clash against Peterborough on Sunday afternoon, Conte said: “Cesc, we all know him, and I’m very pleased with his attitude, his commitment and for his work-rate in training sessions.
“Also, when I call him during the game, it’s important for me to see the right spirit.”
He added: “Cesc has shown me great commitment always and I am pleased for this.”
Fabregas has made five assists and scored one goal in 11 Premier League games for Chelsea so far this season.
Carlo Ancelotti: Antonio Conte has right qualities needed for management
Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that Antonio Conte has always had the right “kind of quality” needed to succeed in management.
The Chelsea boss, who played under the veteran Italian at Juventus between 2009 and 2011, has taken the Blues to the top of the Premier League after 20 games, a stark contrast from 12 months ago, when they were 14th in the table.
Bayern Munich boss Ancelotti told ESPN: “They’d had a bad season but now the players are motivated.
“The manager put a new idea of football and good chemistry and they were able to have a really good result. [They have] a lot of possibility to win the Premier League this year.
“I think that Conte had this kind of quality, also for his style of play. He was a really tactical player. He was intelligent on the pitch, really focused. He was the captain of Juventus at the time. I thought he could be a good manager at the time.”
Conte’s managerial career started in July 2006 as head coach of Serie B side Arezzo but he was sacked three months later following a series of disappointing results, although he was rehired the following year.
West Ham in for Batshuayi
West Ham are interested in signing Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi on loan this month, according to Sky sources.
The Hammers made a £31m bid to Marseille for the forward during the summer transfer window but the 23-year-old Belgian moved to Chelsea in a £33m deal instead.
However, with Batshuayi struggling for game time at the league leaders and linked with a move away to Swansea City, West Ham look set to enter the fray for him once again.
Batshuayi scored 26 goals in 62 games for Marseille in Ligue 1 over two seasons, convincing Chelsea to splash the cash on him in July.
Since his move though, the Belgium international has found himself firmly behind the in-form Diego Costa, and has yet to start a league game so far this campaign.
Chelsea are currently in talks to loan Batshuayi to Swansea in a move which will see a swap deal with Fernando Llorente moving to Stamford Bridge.
West Ham want to sign at least one striker this month and have already made bids for Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe and Brentford’s Scott Hogan.