Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insists Cesc Fabregas remains firmly in his plans despite starting him on the bench against West Ham.
The Spanish midfielder kept the bench warm for the entire 90 minutes as Chelsea beat West Ham United 2-1 in their opening game of the season at Stamford Bridge, leading to immediate questions about his future.
Conte opted to go with Nemanja Matic, N’Golo Kante, Willian, Eden Hazard and Oscar in midfield, but insists that Fabregas is in his plans and could start the next game.
“Cesc is Chelsea’s player, and I’m happy about him, with his attitude and behaviour,” said Conte. “He must know from before that when we are a great team like Chelsea it can happen that I have to take a decision before the game to choose a starting XI.
“That can happen that Fabregas is not in the starting XI, but it can happen for all the players.
“It’s important to see always the right attitude. Because we must fight this season and it’s important to stay together in every situation. But then the shape can improve and can change all the situations.
“Now I took this decision but the next game I can change or not. When a coach takes this decision there is always a reason but I prefer to keep this to myself.
“But I repeat I don’t see any problem and I’m very happy to have these players, to train these players.”