For the Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern, Antonio Conte needs to make a few major changes over the next few weeks. The Blues have won their last two games, but they’ve been far from perfect – with improvement still needed if they are to match up to the likes of Man City and Man Utd. Given that the January transfer window is still a few months away, those changes are going to have to come in the form of tweaks in the options that Conte already has at his disposal. However the manager sorts things out, there is one thing that must be done, at least according to our landlord – Cesc Fabregas must be dropped.
The Spaniard has played pretty frequently this season, and particularly over the last few weeks, he has been exploited massively. He impresses going forward, of course, but his defensive inadequacies are clear for all to see. Not only does he struggle to tackle and fail to track back effectively, but his positioning is also very suspect, and that has been under the microscope in the last few weeks. His failings defensively have been masked by N’Golo Kante over the last year or so, but with the Frenchman currently injured, those problems have now come to light. Tiemoue Bakayoko doesn’t play in a similar way to Kante, and so it’s clear that the Spaniard simply doesn’t fit in in the current system without his old partner.
So far, Conte hasn’t had much choice but to persist with Fabregas given Chelsea’s lack of midfield depth. This, though, is now set to change. Danny Drinkwater made his first appearance for the Blues on Wednesday, whilst Ethan Ampadu also put in a very assured performance. Add to that the fact that Tiemoue Bakayoko is available, David Luiz is able to fill in and the future return of N’Golo Kante, and it quickly becomes clear that Antonio Conte has a plethora of options to call on beyond Fabregas.
Conte can be forgiven for his faith in Fabregas this season, but it’s time for the Spaniard to have a few weeks off. As Chelsea look to steady the ship, there is simply no place for him.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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