Ross Barkley and Cesc Fabregas have had to develop into very different roles under Maurizio Sarri but the Spanish maestro’s history is one that Barkley will be keen to replicate.
Fabregas played his first game in England in 2003 and since then over spells with the Gunners, Barcelona and Chelsea he has been one of the top pass masters in Europe with his skill in assists and goals for his clubs.
1033 – Since the start of detailed data collection in all of Europe´s top 5 leagues (01/07/2006), birthday boy @MesutOzil1088 has created more chances than any other player (1033). Maestro. @Arsenal pic.twitter.com/k7cTBc25OM
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) October 15, 2018
The 31-year-old is the third highest chance creator in the top five leagues on the continent with 932 since data was started to be collected in 2006, trailing just Mesut Ozil (1,033) and former West Ham forward Dimitri Payet (1,016).
David Silva (886) and Lionel Messi (861) complete the top five, but there is another player on the list that would be of massive interest to Sarri and Barkley.
The role that the Englishman is trying to become at Chelsea, along with fellow midfielder Mateo Kovacic, is the left in the three in midfield, the role that Marek Hamsik plays for Napoli.
Hamsik is also on the list as number seven with 740 chances created, and that is something that Barkley is going to have to try to replicate if he wants to be a success at Chelsea.
“From me I’d expect goals and assists,” Barkley has said previously.
“I want fans on the edge of their seats, being excited, watching me beating players and creating chances.”
Barkley got his first goal for the Blues before the international break after he netted the second at Southampton, while he also got his first assist in the Premier League also.
Meanwhile, Fabregas is now playing in a new role as Jorginho’s back-up, appearing in a deeper role and looking to set the tempo when he replaces the Italian.