Fabregas asserts his influence again

LONDON • Cesc Fabregas returns to former club Arsenal at just the right time.

The Chelsea midfielder had an assist and a goal during Wednesday's 4-0 Champions League win over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Up till then, the Spaniard had not been involved in any of the Blues' goals after five Premier League matches. At this stage of the last campaign, he had six assists in England's top flight, and finished the title-winning season with three goals and 18 assists.

The contrast in starts has attracted criticism but Fabregas insists that he does not doubt his abilities.

"I believe in myself more than anyone," the Spaniard, who completed more passes in the final third (40) than any other player in the Champions League this week, told Chelsea's official website.

"Everyone has their doubts when you are not playing well and you don't get the results you want," he says. "But I have been playing too long to worry about stuff that is not important."

His assist for Diego Costa in midweek was the 200th of his career.

It was his link-up play with Costa that tore Premier League defences apart last season, and the warning signs are out for the Gunners.

"We just have to win. It is a London derby, we know Arsenal are a quality team, they play top football and it will be tough," added Fabregas. "But we want to win and we can achieve that on Saturday."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Fabregas asserts his influence again'. Print Edition | Subscribe