Antonio Conte: 30-year-old Chelsea star can extend career until 2022
The Chelsea manager predicts Cesc Fabregas could continue to play at the top level for another five seasons
Antonio Conte believes Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has at least another five seasons at the top level.
The Spanish star has been a key part of the Chelsea team in the 2017-18 season following Nemanja Matic’s £40m move to their bitter title rivals Manchester United in the summer.
The west London side have been without French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and N’Golo Kante due to fitness problems this term to place greater importance on Fabregas.
The 30-year-old has scored one goal and has made three assists in 14 appearances in the Premier League this term to help the Blues get their title challenge back on track.
Fabregas was initially out of favour when Conte was appointed as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor back in May 2016.
The former Arsenal captain fought his way back into the Chelsea first-team and ended up making 13 starts and 16 substitute appearances in their title-winning campaign.
Speaking to the media about Fabregas ahead of Chelsea’s home clash against Atletico Madrid in the Champion League, Conte said:
“He is young. When you are 30 years old, you have at least five years to play football.
“To play at this level you must have great desire and will, because this level is not simple.
“You have a lot of competition with other players, but Cesc has great ambition. He is a winner in his mind and his mentality. For this reason, he is very strong.”
Fabregas has won two Premier League titles and the League Cup since his £27m move to Chelsea from Barcelona in the 2014 summer transfer window.
The Blues are in third place in the Premier League table but 11 points behind current leaders Manchester City.