Neville: Chelsea summer signing can’t play alongside Fabregas

Man United legend Phil Neville warns Chelsea that Tiemoue Bakayoko struggles alongside Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko Photo: Tiemoue Bakayoko / Instagram

Phil Neville has warned Antonio Conte that Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko can’t play in the same Chelsea midfield together.

The defending Premier League champions have been without N’Golo Kante over the past month or so after the defensive midfielder’s injury setback.

Conte has been forced to use summer signing Bakayoko alongside Fabregas, although the Spanish midfielder isn’t known as a defensive-minded player.

Chelsea have struggled defensively since Kante’s injury after conceding 13 times in six games in all competitions to leave their Champions League and Premier League bids in doubt.

The Blues suffered a resounding 3-0 loss to AS Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday night to put the Italian club in charge of their group, but returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

Former Manchester United defender Neville warned Conte that Bakayoko and Fabregas don’t work as a combination for Chelsea, despite the pair playing together upon Kante’s return to the team against Manchester United on Sunday.

“Fabregas had two behind him that did his running last season,” Neville told BBC Radio 5 Live before Sunday’s game.

“He had the ability to play with more freedom and less responsibility. When he plays in a two-man midfield, he gets exposed.

“Bakayoko isn’t a defensive midfielder – he wants to drive forward too – and at the moment they are lacking balance without N’Golo Kante.”

Chelsea won the Premier League title with two games to spare last season.

The Blues sold Serbia international Nemanja Matic in a £40m deal to Manchester United in the summer.

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