Cesc Fabregas Says Leaving Chelsea Wasn't an Option in the Summer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on September 20, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has revealed he never considered leaving the club in the summer despite falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge last season. 

Manager Antonio Conte paired N'Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic together in midfield in 2016-17 for long spells, with the duo vital in Chelsea's Premier League title win. Often that meant Fabregas was on the bench or used in games against supposedly lesser opponents.

As a result, speculation arose about a potential exit for the Spain international, though the man himself told Marca moving on was not an option.

"Honestly, no," Fabregas said. "I know what I can give the team and if I can play or not so I decided to stay and fight. With Antonio there is no option other than to compete and give 100 per cent in every training session and each match."

Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte (L) shakes hands with Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas (R) on the pitch at the end of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Swansea at Stamford Bridge in London on February 25, 2
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Fabregas also commented on Diego Costa, who recently completed a move from the Blues back to Atletico Madrid—although he won't be available until January.

The two Spain internationals struck up a great partnership, and Fabregas was full of praise for Costa, hailing him as the best striker in the game.

"It has been a difficult situation for both him and for Chelsea; it has been wrong," Fabregas said. "Clearly I would have preferred for him to continue as a team-mate. Diego will never be a rival to me.

"In recent years, there has not been a pure striker better than him; he understood my game, read my passes and most importantly he could score from them."

In the same interview, Fabregas said he had a "difficult season" and "there were people who went as far as to say that it was no longer worth it."

However, he remains a Chelsea player and has been a key part of the team's strong start to the 2017-18 campaign. Earlier in the season Conte noted the midfielder's desire to improve the defensive side of his game, per Liam Twomey of ESPN FC:

But that's not what the former Barcelona and Arsenal man is known for. Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2014, he's given Chelsea a controlling presence in midfield.

The La Masia academy teachings Fabregas enjoyed are prevalent whenever he takes to the pitch. On the ball he rarely wastes a pass, while team-mates can give possession to him under pressure and he will keep hold of the ball.

Fabregas also gives the Blues a threat from deeper positions, as his long balls over the top of defences are so accurate, per Squawka Football:

Football writer Rik Sharma believes the inventiveness of Fabregas and the movement of a striker such as Alvaro Morata will be a deadly combination:

So far this season, the 30-year-old has started four of Chelsea's six Premier League games. With Matic having departed for Manchester United, Conte has turned to the experience of Fabregas to ensure there is continuity in the team while Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater get up to full speed.

When Bakayoko is at full tilt the Spaniard might struggle to fit into the Chelsea side, as Conte has shown a preference for two defensively minded central midfielders during his time in England.

But there's no doubt Fabregas has a big part to play if the Blues are to successfully defend their Premier League crown.