It will have escaped the attention of a few football watchers during Chelsea’s march up the Premier League this term, but the Blues seem to have precariously placed a rather large amount of their creative eggs into a Cesc Fabregas-shaped basket.
The 9/20 favourites to win England’s top prize have scored 34 goals in the Premier League this term, with just under a third assisted by former Arsenal hero Fabregas, according to WhoScored.com.
However, the same site only attributes 26 converted key passes to Chelsea players in the Premier League this season, meaning the Catalan native has laid on over 42% of his side’s top-flight assists thus far in the campaign.
The Blues’ next four highest purveyors of converted chances only have as many as their 27-year-old teammate between them, with silky wide-forwards Willian and Eden Hazard able to boast of just one each.
Mourinho’s men are still sitting pretty three points clear of Manchester City at the top of the pile, but cracks are starting to show in Chelsea’s forward line.
They’ve managed just one goal in their past two away matches, which was again assisted by Fabregas, and this profligacy from the Blues led to five points being dropped at a crucial point in the campaign.
Such a scarcity of creativity within Mourinho’s ranks ought to set alarm bells ringing, but the latest admission of ‘uncertainty’ from Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri regarding his Etihad future could be the answer to the Portuguese’s prayers.
The Frenchman has started just over half of his side’s Premier League matches this term and admitted in a recent interview that the club could call time on his stay next summer.
In spite of his fluxive status in and out of the Citizens’ XI, Nasri has cooked up more than half as many chances as Chelsea ever-present Fabregas so far this term, with two turned into goals by willing teammates.
Even more intriguing is the fact that Nasri far outstripped his fellow former Gunners midfielder in terms of key-pass creation last term, with 98 in 34 league appearances compared to Fabregas’ 58 in 36 La Liga games during his last season at Barcelona.
As it is, Nasri is 2/5 with bwin.com to still be with City on 2nd September 2015, with 7/4 saying he’ll have packed his bags for pastures new by then.