(Photo Credit- The Sun)
Chelsea have quickly moved on from Fabregas leaving for Monaco, as they beat Newcastle 2-1 in the Premier League.
It didn’t look likely that he would be leaving before today’s game against Newcastle, especially because news came out yesterday morning from Sky Sports, that Cesc Fabregas’s move to Monaco was being held up be Marina Granovskaia who didn’t want to release Fabregas until a replacement was secured.
It was admitted in Sarri’s press conference yesterday that Cesc wasn’t in the ‘right condition’ to feature in this match. What we didn’t know, was the fact that “he was not in the right condition” was a cover up for the fact that the Spaniard was very close to securing his move to Monaco.
News came out yesterday evening that Monaco had signed the Spaniard on 3.5 year contract, for a fee to be around £10 million. Sky Sports also revealed that if Cesc meets a number of performance targets, then Chelsea will receive alot of money in bonuses.
Cesc Fabregas had a great career at Chelsea, with bagging alot of goals and assists at his time at Chelsea. The now Monaco player won 2 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup and 1 League cup in his time with the Blues.
He was described by many Chelsea fans as the midfield maestro. The fans always sung he ‘wears the magic hat’. So the main talking point going into the game was whether the Blues would miss the magician as they looked to win their 1st home game in 3 in the Premier League, after losing to Leicester and drawing to Southampton at the Bridge.
Going into the game, Chelsea had a chance to go 6 points clear of Arsenal in fourth place after they lost to West Ham in the London derby by 1-0 earlier today. The Blues also had a chance to 9 points clear of 6th placed Manchester United, ahead of their tough match tomorrow at Wembley against Tottenham.
Chelsea started with the game with the false 9 formation. Kovacic came in for Barkley, and Luiz in for Christensen. Pedro replaced CHO (Callum Hudson-Odoi) who was on the bench after playing 2 games last week. The interesting team news was that Morata wasn’t in the squad.
The early indications from the game were that the Blues didn’t miss Fabregas’s creativity in the midfield, as in 9th minute, David Luiz’s magical ball over the top of the Newcastle backline found Pedro, who dinked over Dubravka to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead.
However Newcastle grew into the game, and deservedly drew level from a Ritchie corner in the 40th, which found Clark in the box, who powered home his header into the bottom corner past a helpless Kepa in the Chelsea goal, to level the game at 1-1 going into half-time.
Chelsea got back into their groove in the second half, and in the 57th minute, a lovely Willian curling effort evaded Dubravka in the Newcastle goal and rattled the back of the net, to give Chelsea a 2-1 lead.
Chelsea failed to build on the second goal, but held on in the end for 3 vital points.
Amazingly, with Chelsea collecting 3 points in this match today, they have now created a 6 point gap to Arsenal in 5th.
And even if they lose at the Emirates next weekend, then the Blues would still be ahead of the Gunners.
The Blues also avoided the record of not scoring in 3 consecutive home games since 1993 under Glenn Hoddle.
The focus now for Chelsea and Sarri’s side will obviously be on their next match away next Saturday at 5:30pm to Unai Emery’s Arsenal. A game where the result of that game could have a big impact on the top 4 race.
However, the key talking point going into next week before the match is the transfer window. With Fabregas now gone and Chelsea saying that they wouldn’t let him go unless a replacement was secured.
Surely that means that the Blues will announce his replacement soon. Simon Johnson from the evening standard provided an update on Thursday.
Sport Italia backed up claims made by the likes of Simon Johnson today, as they have reported that Leandro Paredes should be a Chelsea player by the end of the weak, as they claim that the deal is very close.
So the Argentine looks the most likeliest to replace Cesc, with Barella being the second favourite at this point. But this could all change with more developments.
Interestingly, today on Twitter, Paredes retweeted a welcome to Chelsea video. Maybe his transfer to the Blues is now imminent.
We could also see more developments on the striker situation in the transfer window over the next week, with Morata being linked to the likes of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. The Spaniard is being heavily tipped to leave Chelsea this window, and Sarri believes that ‘If Morata will go, then we need another striker”.
Recent News from the English press is that Chelsea want to grant Sarri’s wishes, and they want to do so by stepping up the Higuain chase. And this has been shown by the recent news that Gonzalo’s agent was spotted in London recently.
The likes of @PipeSierraR on Twitter have also stated that official negotiations for Higuain to join Chelsea will start this weekend, showing that the wheels are in motion for a deal to be struck between the three clubs. The likes of Alfredo Pedulla in the Italian press has also hinted at progression in the Higuain deal, for him to end up at Chelsea;
Another indication that this deal could happen before the deadline is that the AC Milan manager Gattuso doesn’t seem so confident in keeping Higuain as Leonardo does;
More developments came out this morning from Corriere dello Sport that Higuain has decided that he definitely wants a move to Chelsea to reignite with Sarri. And as a result, contacts have intensified between the three clubs.
There’s even been an indication that Morata could be swapped with Higuain, so that Chelsea end up with Higuain, and AC Milan end up with Morata. There were more developments today on Higuain, as Gatusso spoke to the media today after AC Milan’s 0-2 win over Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia. This is what he said about Higuain after the game.
So it looks like being a very busy week for the Blues next week, with transfer developments expected. But will they be able to top of next week with a vital three points at the Emirates against Arsenal to extend their points tally over the Gunners in the top 4 race to 9 points.
By Danyal Khan