Gary Neville: Cesc Fàbregas can emulate Paul Scholes and Andrea Pirlo.


Gary Neville insists Chelsea`s new midfielder Cesc Fàbregas has got the attributes to get to Scholes` and Andrea Pirlo`s level.

The 27-year-old Spanish midfielder is ready to play against his former club Arsenal at Stamford Bridge today as Chelsea look to maintain their position at the top of the Premier League table.

Chelsea`s 3-0 triumph against Aston Villa last Saturday saw Cesc Fàbregas complete an astonishing 144 passes which has been the highest in a Premier League match since Paul Scholes` 148 back in 2012 at the White Hart Lane.

And Gary Neville believes Fàbregas can control big matches in Europe like Paul Scholes and Andrea Pirlo.

“They can be robust, defensive, counter-attacking, Neville said ahead of the today's clash between Chelsea and Arsenal.

“The question against Arsenal is whether, if they are 1-0 up with 15 minutes to go, they can dominate possession. Fàbregas is the only player in the Premier League I can think of who is capable of controlling this kind of match against Arsenal.

“He’s very different to the Michael Essien, Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard type of player Mourinho’s had.

“He can keep the ball moving, he sees round the corner, he has the intelligence and courage to play when the game is tight, or at its fiercest.

“In Cesc Fàbregas they have a player who is not just a provider for Diego Costa or a goalscorer but can elevate himself into the Pirlo, Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Paul Scholes bracket, as architects of elite football matches.”


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