Former Spain international Gaizka Mendieta backed Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas to overcome his slow start to the season.
Fabregas has been subdued early in the campaign and the Premier League champions have struggled, taking just four points from their opening four games.
Mendieta, who made 40 appearances for the national team, believes the 28-year-old just needs time.
“It’s difficult to be 100 per cent all of the time in a team that is set up in a way… and all the responsibility that he has,” he said.
“You can’t always be at your peak, sometimes you’re not going to be at your best level, but he still has a lot to offer to the team.”
Another Spaniard in the Premier League, David de Gea, has endured a different start to the season.
The goalkeeper is yet to play a minute for Manchester United and his expected Real Madrid transfer fell through.
Mendieta said he felt for the shot-stopper, who he expects to be Spain’s number one for a long time.
“Let’s see what happens now, because both sides are upset with what happened, both seem to be blaming each other,” he said.
“I think on the player’s side it’s hard. I’m not sure if we will see another chance for De Gea to go back to Madrid.
“He certainly is going to be the best goalkeeper for Spain in the next couple of years.”