In what has been an incredibly return to the league in which he made his name, Cesc Fabregas has taken England by storm yet again, as he has been instrumental to Chelsea’s undisputable dominance in the league this season.
The Blues remain unbeaten in the league campaign this year, and pundits and fans alike have already begun to hint at an unbeaten streak to rival the famous Arsenal run of a few years ago.
With a few questioning whether he could indeed flourish in a deeper role, after his stint at extremely forward positions at his old club Barcelona, the Spaniard has silenced his critics, contributing a whopping 9 assists thus far for Chelsea this season and he doesn’t seem to be in the mood to slow down.
Indeed, the former Arsenal man is on course to beat the record for the number of assists in a single campaign that was set by his former teammate, Thierry Henry, twelve seasons ago.
Henry created 20 goals for his teammates during the 2002/03 campaign, but got off to a slow start. When comparing the Frenchman at a similar stage last season, Henry had only created four assists by match week 11.
In fact the only player to exceed Chelsea’s Fabregas’ nine assists in the opening 11 matches of a season is the Spaniard himself who had 10 for Arsenal in 2009/10. However for the rest of the season, Fabregas was hampered by injury and never threatened Henry’s record.
The midfielder’s impressive assist statistics have been largely helped by international teammate Diego Costa, who has converted more than half the seven chances that Fabregas has given him. When looking at the rate of chances that Fabregas created for Arsenal, in his final five seasons there, the average is approximately three a match and this season is similar, although the conversion rate of the Chelsea team is slightly better.
As well as his knack for through balls, the 27year old is helped by a physically strong Chelsea side that is a threat from set pieces. Three of his nine assists have come from corners and a look at the breakdown of the 32 chances created by the Spaniard show that nine have been for defenders.
His deployment in a much deeper role than he had at the Emirate stadium is a major reason for the midfielder’s very good season thus far. Chelsea is definitely flying high and the fans have their former nemesis to thank for such improvement in both the style of play and goal returns compared to last season. The London side finally looks like the side to beat this season, all thanks to the acquisition of one of the best passers in the game.
Earlier in the article we looked at how injury derailed what could have been a glorious season for both Arsenal and the Spanish international. Thus far, the injury prone midfielder has managed to keep injury at bay. However it is obvious that an injury to a player that is arguably Chelsea’s best player this season, will plunge Chelsea into a run inconsistent form.
At least the Blues will have the winter transfer window to purchase another player, who can deliver what the Spaniard currently does.