An early case for Chelsea star to win Player of the Year

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After one match for Chelsea, Cesc Fabregas created more chances for his teammates than four of Manchester United’s central midfielders managed in the entirety of last season.

Yet the former Premier League powerhouses at Old Trafford passed on the opportunity to sign the Spanish lock-picker earlier in the season, clearly believing that Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher were due to improve.

That blunder allowed Jose Mourinho to form the ideal Premier League midfield in signing the former Barcelona star for £27m (which is £1.5m less than United paid for their eventual Spanish choice, Ander Herrera).

Nemanja Matic’s partnership with Fabregas for the Stamford Bridge club this season will arguably form the bedrock of the club’s 11/8-rated title bid.

It’s likely, given the calibre of performance he turned in on his return to England, that Fabregas will take the plaudits in the duo and his pass for Andre Schurrle’s goal against Burnley is an early excuse for the Vine highlight posters to busy themselves.

His Turf Moor bow, summarised in numbers and a heat map in the tweet below, hints at a steely determination from the one-time Arsenal idol, as he sets out to prove that Barca never used him correctly.

Having grown tired of trying to loosen Xavi and Andres Iniesta’s vice-like grip on the Nou Camp club’s drumsticks, Fabregas has the chance to run a midfield at the peak of his powers and as a result the 10/1 on him landing the PFA’s Player of the Year award come the season’s climax.

If game-marshalling performances like the one displayed at Burnley become a regular occurrence, then expect that price to be well into single figures before too long.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.