Looking back even further still, as Juventus manager, Conte was so consumed with the desire to have his midfielders hunt the ball in packs that he switched to a three man backline in order to flood the midfield with strong running players such as Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Fabregas is not in his new manager’s plans at all. At Juventus, Conte also had Andrea Pirlo, who at that point in time was in a way the freest moving of players. Yet, by protecting him with two runners either side, Conte was able to use Pirlo purely for his intelligence and passing range to control the tempo of the game. There may be a similar plan for Fabregas.
Chelsea already have Nemanja Matic, the Serbian defensive midfielder, and have just signed Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante. Kante, excellent in Leicester’s ascent to the title last season by hunting the ball down and shielding his back four and other midfielders, may be just the player to protect Fabregas with. Fabregas, already experienced in playing something similar to the Pirlo role with Barcelona, may be able to experience a renaissance in his career under his new manager.