Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas has broken a Premier League record after his assist for the Blues against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder has now recorded 10 assists or more in six seasons, a mark nobody else has previously managed
The signing of N’Golo Kante from Leicester City and Chelsea’s subsequent success has meant Fabregas, who would have been first choice in almost every other Premier League side, has been marginalised and unable to claim a regular place.
When he has, however, the Spain midfielder has shown the class and quality that has made him one of the game’s enduring talents in the recent era.
Fabregas stepped in here for the injured Kante and gave a midfield masterclass, and when he created Chelsea’s opener for Costa he became the first player to record 10 Premier League assists in six different seasons.
He also created Chelsea’s third for Matic with a glorious instinctive flick that unlocked Middlesbrough again.
Antonio Conte’s first term at Chelsea appeared to be the end of Cesc, as he struggled to carve out a place in the Italian’s starting line-up at the beginning of the year.
Indeed, this was only his 11th start of the Premier League season but he has found a role for himself as an impact attacking option for Chelsea, effective both when included in the lineup and when he has come off the bench.
He has not looked back since winning Conte’s trust, with Diego Costa also benefiting from his creative play against Boro for Chelsea’s first goal but Fabio’s failed clearance denying the midfielder another assist.
Fabregas may wish to seek more regular first team football elsewhere despite being on course to claim another Premier League title winners’ medal – and on this evidence there will be no shortage of takers.