Cesc Fabregas has vowed to show Antonio Conte he deserves to be playing for Chelsea, having endured a ‘tough’ time under the Italian coach so far.
The midfielder scored twice in extra time as the Blues came from 2-0 down to beat Leicester 4-2 in the EFL Cup third round on Tuesday.
He is yet to start a Premier League game this season, with his only two starts coming in the cup against Bristol Rovers and the Foxes.
He has done his best in those performances to suggest he does deserve a starting role in the Blues’ next game, with Conte taking his team to the Emirates to face Fabregas’ former club Arsenal in the league on Saturday.
But even if the 29-year-old continues to miss out on playing, he has admitted he will fight through the ‘tough’ situation and continue to prove to Conte he deserves to be playing.
“It’s a new situation for me in my career after 13 years of basically playing all the time for my club and national team,” he said.
“And it’s been tough – I’m not going to deny it. But the last thing I will do is complain or put my hands up and give in.
“Something from inside is coming out stronger than ever and I just feel like a little boy in training trying to win my spot back as I used to do at Arsenal when I was 16. Hopefully I will achieve it again.
“My coach deserves respect because I know he wants to win and if he doesn’t play me there is always a reason.
“Hopefully I can open his eyes and make him see that I deserve to play.”
Fabregas spent eight years at Arsenal before a 2011 move to Barcelona, who sold him to Chelsea two years ago, and admits he is desperate to play against his former club.
“No matter what I hear, what they say to me, Arsenal will always be a fantastic special place in my heart, ” he told the Evening Standard. “It’s too early to know whether I will start or not.
“Hopefully I will. I’m not going to deny that I want to play every single minute.”