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Conte hails Fabregas for embracing Chelsea role

Chelsea v Swansea City - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea (L) and Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea (R) embrace after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on February 25, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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Cesc Fabregas hasn’t seen the field as much as he would like as of late, but Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says that the veteran midfielder has never played better.

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The 29-year-old Spaniard has seen his role fluctuate throughout the season, especially as of late, as the Blues move closer and closer to a Premier League title.

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However, Conte has praised Fabregas for his willingness to accept his role and perform up to his potential when called upon by the Italian boss.

“This season he faced a new situation. Cesc, in the past, has always played every single game,” Conte said ahead of Saturday’s clash against Stoke City. “It’s not easy to change. But, for sure, Cesc showed me that he is not only a great player but a great person.

“I think, this season, he has improved a lot in all aspects and, for me, he is a really, really important player. Cesc gives you great quality, great fantasy and assists. Yeah, but it’s important for me, above all at this point of the season, to manage very well the situation.

Conte elaborated on Fabregas’ role and having two important players in the midfield, with Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, gives the first-year PL manager the freedom to manuever around when he sees fit.

“Understand when it’s right, for example, to play with Cesc or with Matic. We are talking about two great players, for sure with different characteristics. Nema is more physical, more technical, less fantasy than Cesc. Cesc has more fantasy but is less physical than Nemanja.”

This season, Fabregas has five goals in 24 matches across all competitions for Chelsea, while adding eight assists.