Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has been left out of Spain’s squad to face Italy and Albania in the country’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers, it has been revealed.
Julen Lopetegui, who was appointed as Vincente Del Bosque’s replacement as Spain manager in August, named his Spain team this week and has left out Fabregas, much as he did when he named his first Spain squad. The 29-year-old has made 110 appearances for Spain over the years, being part of the squad that won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in both 2008 and 2012.
He has struggled for game time under Chelsea’s new head coach Antonio Conte, however, with the former Italy national manager only starting Fabregas in one Premier League game so far this season. That was last weekend’s 3-0 loss to Arsenal in the London derby. The midfielder lasted just 55 minutes before being replaced by fellow Spaniard Marcos Alonso, meaning that Lopetegui felt he has not had enough minutes on the pitch to be able to be part of his 23-man squad.
Fabregas’ former Chelsea team-mate Juan Mata was part of Lopetegui’s first squad, but has not been called up this time even though he has impressed for Manchester United so far this season and scored in the Red Devils’ 4-1 win over Leicester City at the weekend. His current team-mate Diego Costa is part of the squad after being left out of the Spanish squad for the European Championships in France during the summer.
Costa, who is known to have a combustible personality and has walked the disciplinary tightrope for the Blues in a number of games so far this season, has scored five goals for Chelsea in the Premier League in their opening six games. He also scored two for Spain when they faced Liechtenstein in a World Cup qualifying game earlier in the season.
The Spain squad in full sees Manchester United’s David de Gea join Pepe Reina, who plays for Napoli, and Sergio Rico at Sevilla as the goalkeepers. Barcelona’s defensive trio of Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto are joined in defence by Real Madrid’s own trio of Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Nacho as well as Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez.
In midfield there are two Barcelona players in the shape of Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta, Atlético Madrid’s Saúl Ñíguez and Koke, Thiago Alcántara from Bayern Munich, Isco from Real Madrid and David Silva from Manchester City. They will support the Spain attack which features Costa alongside Manchester City’s Nolito, the Real Madrid pair of Álvaro Morata and Lucas Vázquez, José Callejón from Napoli and Sevilla’s Vitolo.
Fabregas will be hoping that he can force his way into Antonio Conte’s plans in the coming weeks in order to revitalise his international career. He made 303 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 57 goals, before moving to Barcelona and getting on the scoresheet 42 times in 151 matches. So far for Chelsea he has scored thirteen goals in 100 games in all competitions, including eight goals in 74 appearances in the Premier League.