Jose Mourinho says Cesc Fabregas is “not a pure number 10” and will feature mostly as a central midfielder this season.
Fabregas proved his versatility in last term’s title-winning campaign, impressing in the role just behind the lone striker.
However, Mourinho sees the 28-year-old Spaniard as one of two deep-lying midfielders.
“Oscar is the only number 10,” Mourinho explained. “Willian can play there. Fabregas can play there. Even Eden Hazard can play there.
“But Fabregas is not a pure number 10. He will play many matches for sure, but he is a midfield player more than a player to play behind the striker.”
Mourinho also believes Hazard can expect more tough treatment from defenders in the Premier League during the coming season.
The Blues boss, who signed a new four-year contract on Friday, has previously complained that player of the year Hazard is often unfairly targeted by opposition defenders.
“The best players all around the world are players that opponents care about,” said Mourinho.
“In England the competitive mentality means people like aggression in the game and referees go in that direction.”