Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte says midfielder Cesc Fabregas remains a key figure in his Blues squad, despite being left out of their Premier league opener.
The Spain international was an unused substitute as a late Diego Costa goal secured a 2-1 victory over West Ham at Stamford Bridge, but Conte dismissed suggestions that Fabregas could be allowed to leave the club, insisting that he could be back in the fold for the next game.
I took this decision, but the next game I can change or not.Antonio Conte
The Italian told reporters after a winning start to his Blues tenure: “Cesc is Chelsea’s player and I’m happy about him, with his attitude and behaviour.
“He must know 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.
“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.”
The Blues are back in action next Saturday when they make the short trip to Vicarage Road to take on Watford, with the corresponding fixture last season ending in a goalless draw.
The meeting at Stamford Bridge finished 2-2, with Costa scoring both goals for the home side.
Chelsea can be backed at 8/11 to claim all three points next weekend, with the draw priced at 11/4 and a goalless draw available at 9/1.