Conte: Cesc is a genius with the ball

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte says midfielder Cesc Fabregas is a genius on the field and could develop into the Andrea Pirlo role in the Premier League.

The Blues currently hold an eight point lead of Manchester City at the top of the table and Fabregas has impressed in short cameo appearances under the Italian manager.

Despite calls for the former Arsenal captain to feature more against so called lesser sides in favor of holding midfielder Nemnaja Matic, Conte has kept faith in the Serbia international over the deep-lying playmaker.

Nonetheless, Conte admits that the Spain international is a unique talent with incredible capabilities with the ball at his feet and remains a important part of his sqaud.

"Cesc is a top player and is a genius at football. I can talk in the same way about Andrea Pirlo," Conte told reporters.

"Cesc if he doesn't run 100 metres in 10 seconds, I can allow him this, because he's a genius with the ball. His velocity is in his mind," he added. "Cesc is playing with us and is very important for the team."

The 29-year-old has scored four goals and registered seven assists in 21 games this season.