Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has claimed in an interview ahead of their much awaited showdown with Arsenal that he was stunned by Arsene Wenger’s faith in him, reigniting rumours of potential move to Emirates and also giving Chelsea fans a great opportunity to boo him ahead of such a big match.
When Fabregas left Barcelona’s La Masia academy for the north Londoners he was just 16 year old and then went on to become the Gunners’ captain.
It was later revealed, Arsenal had closely eyed a promising young Fabregas and were impressed what they saw, so decided to invite him and his family to London. Fabregas quickly took the opportunity and was actually stunned by the Arsenal hierarchy’s faith in him just few days after joining.
Fabregas has now revealed in an interview with Goal: “We were received in person by Arsene Wenger and the vice-chariman David Dein. They proposed training with the first-team in the first year. I understood nothing. What were they doing with a kid like me?
“It was summer, why weren’t they on holiday? I was stunned that they stopped everything for a simple schoolboy from Barcelona.
“They wanted me to move up to the first-team within a short time, they believed in me very much but I still couldn’t make out if they were selling me a dream.” The veteran Spanish midfielder still relishes the old memories.
Taken aback by the unexpected approach from the Gunners, Fabregas was actually won over by Arsene Wenger’s commitment to sign him as soon as possible.
“It was true that Wenger had interrupted his holidays in France to see me and make me the offer in person.
“That was decisive and we decided to take that route. And everything was phenomenal after that,” the Spain international said.
After completing the signing young Fabregas played three League Cup matches in his debut season for Arsenal, scoring once. Wenger was not wrong about the young budding Spaniard, Fabregas went on to establish himself in the first eleven in his second season in 2004/05, featuring in 46 matches, despite being only 17-years-old.
Fabregas continued to cement his place in the team and emerged from strength to strength under Wenger’s affection and guidance, went on to play 212 matches for Arsenal, winning an FA Cup and reaching a Champions League final.
He then returned to his boyhood club Barcelona in 2011 where he managed to win a Copa del Rey and a La Liga title, before going back to England signing for Chelsea, his former club’s arch rivals.
However, this season, Fabregas has made only three assists, whilst netting once. He has also won only 40% of his duels in Premier League – proving how he is struggling for form like his teammates.
Fabregas will now return to his former club on Sunday with his Chelsea teammates in a difficult position. The Blues currently are 14th in league table having slapped with nine defeats this season, while Fabregas’ old club Arsenal are on top.