He recalled to BBC Sport: "When Antonio Conte came to Chelsea, I didn't play much in the first three months. He made it clear that he wanted a different type of midfielder, played Nemanja Matic and I was injured too.
"We had to go to Manchester City at one point, having already won seven games in a row, and Conte said, 'You have to play'. We won 3-1, I played well and assisted Diego with a goal. I felt I got to a point where the manager could rely on me.
“We then played against West Bromwich Albion and Matic had recovered, so he was in the starting line-up. It was such a typical game, after seventy minutes it was still 0-0. They defended well.
“The game asked for someone like me to open a door. Nothing happened for a long time, until Diego stepped to the sidelines and called to Conte, 'Put Cesc in there!'"
"You shouldn't mess with Conte and he pretended not to hear Diego. Two minutes later he said, 'Cesc, come' and immediately after I got in, I assisted Diego with a goal."