Jose Mourinho has admitted that he was surprised to see Cesc Fabregas join Chelsea last summer, claiming that the transfer helped change the profile of the West London outfit.
The Spanish international, who has previously spent eight years at local rivals Arsenal, made a £30m switch to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona after the Gunners reportedly decided against making a move.
Fabregas has become a key player for the Blues this season, particularly in the first half of the campaign, with his goals and assists propelling the club to the Premier League summit.
"As a kid he was fantastic," Mourinho told reporters. "He played the final against us when he was 18, 19 and we had [Michael] Essien, [Claude] Makelele, [Michael] Ballack, [Frank] Lampard.
"I never felt he could work with me as he was at Arsenal. When I was at Madrid, he was at Barcelona. It was unexpected for me that he wanted to come to Chelsea. It was fantastic for our team as he changed the profile of our team.
"We were waiting for a player with his characteristics to change our profile and we're happy with how he adapted. He's happy playing for us as it's a question when a player was at a rival club."