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Photo: Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas struggled for game time during the early part of last season as Chelsea boss Antonio Conte preferred Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante in central midfield.

Fabregas was linked with moves away from Chelsea but things turned around for the midfielder as he started getting more playing time as the season progressed.

Fabregas has become a key player for Antonio Conte this season and the 30-year-old admits last season was difficult for him.

“I’m not going to deny it, it was a difficult season (last season),” Fabregas told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“I came from playing everything with [Jose] Mourinho and [Guus] Hiddink and then suddenly I was not counted on all of the time.

“Not everyone knows what I went through during those months and there were people who went as far as to say that it was no longer worth it.

“Only my family knows what I have been through.”

Asked if leaving was ever an option, Cesc’s said: “Honestly, no.

“I know what I can give the team and if I can play or not so I decided to stay and fight.

“With Antonio there is no option other than to compete and give 100 per cent in every training session and each match.”

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