If some football players base their decisions to move to clubs on how much they feel they’re wanted, then Jose Mourinho pulled off a master stroke with Chelsea.
It hardly took him any time at all to convince Cesc Fabregas that coming back to London, to one of Arsenal’s arch rivals, would be the best course of action for him when he left Barcelona.
All it needed was one sentence. Seven words.
“On the first day I met him he told me, ‘I need two players,'” Fabregas said on Rio Ferdinand’s Locker Room, cited by the Daily Mirror. “‘I am going to sign Diego Costa and if you come.’
“He drew me the team on some paper and said this team is winning the title on the first day I met him.
“He only needed two players. Thibaut Courtois was already coming but he said, ‘If you come, we win the title.'”
True to his word, the Portuguese fashioned a side that went on to take the English top-flight title in 2014/15, and, regardless of the way things ended up at Stamford Bridge for him, Mourinho had showed once again how ‘special’ he was.
The midfielder played the fullest part in the title win, pulling the strings in the middle of the park and being the conduit between defence and attack.
His 18 assists during that campaign was a Premier League best, per Sky Sports, with Santi Cazorla the nearest challenger in that regard with just 11.
In all respects, it was a transfer that worked, and Mourinho deserves full credit for making it happen.