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Cesc Fàbregas opens up on 'new situation' with Chelsea and Spain's national team

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Leicester City v Chelsea - EFL Cup Third Round Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Cesc Fàbregas is in an unfamiliar situation.

After thirteen years of being almost always first choice at Arsenal, Barcelona, and Chelsea, the 29-year-old is now behind both Nemanja Matic and Oscar in the Chelsea midfield pecking order. He's also yet to be called on by Spain's new manager Julen Lopetegui, who took over La Roja after Vicente Del Bosque stepped down from the job following the team's elimination by underdogs Italy (at the time, managed by his current club manager Antonio Conte!) at Euro 2016.

Fàbregas admits that it’s not been easy to come to terms with these changes, but he's not ready to give and go quietly into the night by any stretch of the imagination.

"It’s a new situation for me in my career after 13 years of basically playing everything for my club and national team. And it’s been tough. I’m not going to deny it, but the last thing I will do is complain or put my hands up and give in."

"Something from inside is coming out stronger than ever and I just feel like a little boy in training trying to win my spot back as I used to do at Arsenal when I was 16. Hopefully, I will achieve it again."

"After my family, football is everything to me. It always has been. It’s a new situation but you have to accept it, you have to be professional, you have to keep your attitude. All my team-mates deserve respect. My coach deserves respect because I know he wants to win and if he doesn’t play me there is always a reason. Hopefully, I can open his eyes and make him see that I deserve to play."

Starting for just the second time all season, Fàbregas was at his best as Chelsea eliminated Leicester City in the third round of the League Cup. His two goals in extra-time proved the difference, and while Leicester were down a man by that point, Cesc was also allowed to push forward a bit more than most of our midfielders so far this season. The formation and the situation played to his strengths.

But Conte wants Cesc to improve in other areas, just as he wants other players to improve on the weak parts of their individual games as well.

"If you have to analyse me, maybe I’m a bit more the playmaker, creative going forward and [Conte] wants me to be a little bit more stable and compact in defence. For Matic, who is the opposite of me, he wants him to be better offensively. For Oscar, for Kante, he works with every aspect for us to be the best we can."

"I know what I can do. After 13 years I know myself very, very well. I am in a moment of my career where I feel very mature. I know physically what I can give. I know when I have to press and I choose much better my game overall. I just want to play and give my all and, hopefully, this will come soon."

"I always give everything. Always. You can have those days when you’re not at your best, but I always try my best. I’ve been training very hard."

"I’m not going to deny I want to play every single minute. It’s what I work for, but the coach chooses the 11 he thinks is best suited to win the game. And that’s it. Wherever I am I will support the team. Inside, outside and when my time comes I will try to perform as I have been doing over the last few weeks."

-Cesc Fàbregas; Source: Telegraph

Many of us expected Fàbregas to be our regista, playing the classic Pirlo role of Conte’s Juventus and Italy teams. But Chelsea do not have the personnel to play that 3-5-2 tactic, and including Cesc in other formations sacrifices a bit of defensive integrity. But given the midfielder’s undeniable quality in other areas of the game, how long can we leave him out, especially as Chelsea are leaking goals anyway?