Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has hit back at claims that he is suffering a dip in form with the Barclays Premier League leaders.
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After racking up 20 assists before the end of January in a stunning start to his career in West London, the former Barcelona playmaker has struggled to replicate that form in recent weeks and a small section of Blues fans appeared to turn on him during the 1-1 draw against Southampton at Stamford Bridge last Sunday.
But the £30m summer signing insists he should not be judged on his number of assists as he is still getting used to playing in a deeper midfield role.
“If I was playing regularly as a No10, I’d say judge me on my assists. But in a midfield pivot like we play at Chelsea, where I’m much more behind the strikers — I’m 10 metres behind the No10 and 20 metres behind the striker — of course I’m not going to get in the same position as many times as when you’re No10. It’s more difficult to get assists.” Fabregas told The Evening Standard.
He added: “This season I’m going back to where I started. Between 16-20, I played in the role I am now, but since 20 till 27, I was playing No10 and sometimes as a striker. It’s like I’m going back to where everything started, which is midfield, where I can conduct the team from the bottom of the pitch to the attacker.”
The Blues are next in action this Sunday when they travel to relegation threatened Hull City.