Cesc Fabregas was a hot item in the rumor mill for a good part of the early season, with an injury-interrupted first few months under Conte limiting him to just one start (and that the infamous 3-0 loss to Arsenal) and three substitute appearances in the first 13 league matches this season.
The thigh injury wasn't the only reason for Cesc's absence of course, but he's made an appearance in each of our last nine games, starting four of them. He's also been ever-present in the cup competitions and is likely to start on Saturday against Brentford in the fourth round of the FA Cup as well.
In short, Fabregas may not be a nailed-on starter like he was the last two seasons under Mourinho, but he remains an important part of the squad and someone on whom we can rely to make an impact in the game time and time again. No player wants to be just a substitute, but Cesc has been pretty super at it.
Throughout it all, Cesc has maintained his desire to stay and fight for his place, and his professional attitude and determination has been held up as exemplary by the manager as well. The situation has improved so much that there's barely been a peep about a potential move away for the 29-year-old this January.
"I play football to win and enjoy. When I don't play I'm sad and I don't enjoy it, but I'm happy the team is doing well."
"Football is my life, it's everything to me. Every time I'm on the pitch I try to do my best. In this game it went well again so I just need to keep going and show the manager I deserve to play."
-Cesc Fabregas; source: Chelsea FC via Sky
There were a couple stary rumors earlier this week (Serie A options, or some such) just to fulfill some bare minimum quota somewhere, but Cesc has once again quickly moved to deny them.
So, there we have it. Cesc to stay. Obviously. Rumors to return later in the spring. Again.