Chelsea maestro Cesc Fabregas earns Antonio Conte's seal of approval

Telegraph Sport
Cesc Fabregas has frequently been used from the bench by Antonio Conte - Copyright (c) 2017 Rex Features. No use without permission.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has heaped praise on the re-emergence of Cesc Fabregas as the midfielder develops into a leading light for the title-chasing Londoners this season.

Just three months ago it looked as if the Spaniard's time in the Premier League was up as a limited number of starts and cameos off the bench left question marks over his future.

The 29-year-old, however, has knuckled down and grown into an instrumental part of this expected title-winning side. His re-emergence may also fuel doubts over Nemanja Matic's future at the club.

Conte, speaking ahead of today's trip to Stoke City, said:“ He always has a great impact. He's technically very good, and can put the ball where he wants. He's a great player. Often he's decisive with the pass, with the assist, and also to score a goal.

“He's showing that he has a great impact for us. I hope to finish in the right way this season, and to try to win, but for sure Cesc, this season, is showing to be a great professional but, above all, a great player.”

Who would you pick to play for Chelsea against Stoke on Saturday?

Conte acknowledged Fabregas' work-rate and commitment has rubbed off on his squad.

“I'm very pleased to see that in him, his commitment and work-rate. This season he faced a new situation. Cesc, in the past, has always played every single game. It's not easy to change.

"But, for sure, Cesc showed me that he is not only a great player but a great person. I think, this season, he has improved a lot in all aspects and, for me, he is a really, really important player.”

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