If The Daily Telegraph newspaper is to be believed, Chelsea have begun negotiations with Cesc Fabregas to lure the talented midfielder away from Barcelona and to sign him on a long-term contract in the Premier League. The paper adds that Jose Mourinho admits he’s interested in signing the footballer.
When Fabregas was at Arsenal from 2003-2011, football supporters would have been ridiculed as crazy if it was suggested that Fabregas would one day don the blue shirt of Chelsea, but stranger things have happened. We’re now forced to entertain the possibility, but would Fabregas fit in to Chelsea’s system, and does the club even need another talented midfielder at Stamford Bridge?
Mourinho has publicly declared his interest in signing him as a replacement for the outgoing Frank Lampard. But is Fabregas the type of player that fits the uncreative, at times, and cold Mourinho system. Fabregas and Mourinho are from completely different moulds, with Fabregas being associated with playing the passing game that has perfectly defined Arsenal and Barcelona over the years. He was at the heart of the Arsenal team that embraced the beautiful way of playing football, and then effortlessly slotted in the Barcelona’s style of tiki taka.
While that defines Fabregas, Mourinho is anything but that. He is quite the opposite of it, if nothing else. His criticism of passing football is prominent in the media archives, and also the tactics he has set up against Barcelona in the past to halt their passing game have done nothing to suggest otherwise. The two mentalities of Mourinho and Fabregas are in stark contrast, which could foretell the relationship they will share should Fabregas join Chelsea.
Also, the 27-year old might have to spend some time in transition to get used to Mourinho’s system. Mourinho fancies combative ball winners to put in a shift every time rather than see silky playmakers dictate play in his team but fail to track back. That more than explains the sudden fall of Juan Mata at Chelsea, who was suddenly frozen out after Mourinho’s arrival, and was then shipped out to Manchester United. Such has been Mourinho’s confidence sapping impact on Mata that he is still finding his feet at Old Trafford. Having seen his countryman and fellow playmaker ruthlessly slayed by Mourinho, it’s a possibility that Fabregas could get a sneak peek as to what he can expect, should he make the move to the blue half of London.
Perhaps the most telling factor that could have a say is their respective histories. Not only is Fabregas an ex-Arsenal man, but also has Barcelona running through his veins. Mourinho, on the other hand, has criticized Arsenal and Wenger (Fabregas’ mentor) in particular on numerous occasions. He has also managed Barcelona’s arch rivals Real Madrid and has overseen a series of feisty El Clasico clashes during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu. Would Fabregas be willing to upset Wenger and Arsenal, and go join a man who is never remembered fondly by anyone associated with Barcelona? I have my doubts.