At some point last season, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas was behind N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and even Oscar in the midfield pecking order.
Antonio Conte oftentimes complained of his lack of work rate although he utilised the Spaniard more in the second half of the season and was more of an impact player.
However, Fabregas is now one of the first names on the team sheet this season and Conte is happy with the work and commitment of the 30-year-old.
The Italian told the media this evening: “Cesc at the start of last season didn’t play a lot, he didn’t play. But I was very happy because through the work he tried to change my mind and it happened.
“If you remember second part of last season he started to play with regularity and first part of last season I played almost every game with Kante and Matic but in the second part of the season Cesc played a lot of games, and he was very important for us to win the title.
“This season he has continued to work very hard, showed me great commitment and behaviour and the coach has to make the best decision. The coach wants to win like the players and the fans and the club. I tried to make the best decision.
“This season, he’s playing with regularity and performing well, hope he can continue this way.
“He is still young for sure. When you are 30 years old you have at least five more years to play football at this level you must have great desire and great will to play at this level. Because it is not simple.
“There is a lot of competition with other players but Cesc has great ambition. He’s a winner in his mind, in his mentality, for this reason he is very strong.”