Many Chelsea fans' first reaction when they heard the news that the Blues might be chasing Cesc Fabregas was confusion. Confusion over whether or not they could cheer for a guy they likely loathed at both Arsenal and Barcelona. Confusion over whether or not the player could get along with manager Jose Mourinho. Most importantly, confusion about exactly what role Fabregas would play at Chelsea. After all, the Spanish midfielder has generally played pretty high up the pitch throughout his career, and while there is little doubt that Cesc is a fantastic player, how he actually fits in Chelsea's system is very much in doubt.
As Chelsea have a David Luiz sized hole next to Nemanja Matic, many fans' assume he's being looked at to play in that role. I can't imagine that's a particularly good idea, but as I haven't watched as much Barcelona as some, I reached out to Arron Duckling of Barca Blaugranes. Arron was kind enough to respond with the following:
"Can Cesc Fabregas play in Chelsea's double-pivot? It's a question that many Chelsea fans may be asking themselves in the light of recent developments, while Manchester City fans might just be asking themselves the very same thing. Let me save you all some time and answer that conundrum for you: "No". And before you ask, there are no "ifs" and there are no "buts"; he simply cannot do it. Of course, there are no doubts that Fabregas has been blessed with an abundance of natural talent and God-given technique, but his skill set just doesn't apply to a deep lying position, particularly at an elite level."
"It's been crushingly obvious for quite some time now; Fabregas drifted back into the double-pivot on occasion at Arsenal and on one memorable night, the "Barca DNA" coursing through his veins proved fatal. That tendency to over-elaborate, that primal desire to play the extra pass led to a mistake and a Barcelona goal. But that's not all holding Fabregas back from a successful career in a pivot -- a noticeable lack of athleticism, a mediocre work-rate, maybe even his height -- Cesc just lacks too many vital attributes."
"Perhaps there's the right partner out there for him -- the Xavi to his Iniesta if you will -- but Chelsea, and any other interested party would be wise to scour the market; at that price, in this position, there are simply better alternatives available."
Take that as you will, but there probably aren't many out there who have seen as much of Fabregas since he decided to leave England as Arron has. Fabregas is certainly a very talented player, and a manager as brilliant as Jose Mourinho could probably use him in a devastating manner, but it's just hard to imagine that he'd actually try to turn him into a pivot player.
What's that Johnnie Cochran once said about a glove? It seems to apply here as well.