‘Arsenal is in my heart’ - Cesc Fabregas
Barcelona midfielder excited by Mesut Özil signing and teh Gunners’ bright start to the season
Cesc Fabregas may return to Arsenal one day. Photograph: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Cesc Fabregas admits that he would like to return to Arsenal one day as a coach but says that his departure was good for the club and for Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in particular.
The former captain said Ramsey and Wilshere have a “brilliant” future. The Barcelona midfielder also praised the signings of Mesut Özil and Mathieu Flamini and suggested Arsenal now have the experience to challenge for the league title.
“Arsenal is in my heart and always will be. It was important for me to leave the right way. I think the fans understood,” Fabregas said. “I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to go back and play there one day, or maybe after football. The club’s like a family so even if it wasn’t as a coach, I’m sure they’d give me the chance to play a role. It’s a club that is always going to be there and will always open its doors to me.”
Fabregas explained that he departed the London club after eight years for personal reasons and that his departure might have been good for other players, describing himself as a potential “obstacle” for their development.
He said: “I watch the way Ramsey is playing now, how he looks so liberated, and I think maybe I blocked his way. Maybe I was an obstacle. Sometimes you need someone to leave for you to step forward and say: ‘I’m here.’ I’m saying that about Ramsey just as an example … I could say the same for Jack (Wilshere). It’s the concept I’m talking about, the idea of stepping up. That mental unblocking is so important. Both of them have a brilliant future.
“(They can be) as good as they want. They have quality on the ball and they have the physical attributes. Ramsey’s stamina is spectacular. Wilshere is a bit different to the typical English player: he’s more of a short passer. Ramsay is one of those that you look at and think: ‘He doesn’t stand out in any specific quality, but he does everything, everything, well.’ His touch is good, his movement’s good, now he’s scoring goals too, providing assists. He’s a kid who as a team player is a beast. Above all, he now has the confidence, responsibility.”
“The experience was missing (and) we suffered because of that,” Fabregas said of his spell at the club. “Now I think they’ve found a good balance. They have people there who have a lot of experience like(Per) Mertesacker and Mikel (Arteta) and (Lukas) Podolski. I really do think (that Flamini could make the difference),” he added in an interview with The Guardian.
It is the arrival of Özil for a club record €50 million this summer from Real Madrid, however, that has really captured the imagination of both fans and Fabregas alike.
The Spaniard describes Özil as “a spectacular signing” who could make the difference for a side hoping to end an eight-year spell without a trophy. “If you have the chance to sign Özil, you can’t let it pass you by,” he said. “I think he’s going to enjoy it enormously. He’s the man who has to make the difference in the final third. His last pass is brilliant, he’ll get more space and with space he kills you. He’s going to score more goals himself because of that space. There’s no one better than him for that mediapunta (attacking midfielder) role.”
Asked if Arsenal could at last challenge for the title this season, particularly with Manchester United struggling, Fabregas responded: “I really hope so. They’ve started very well. They look very strong; let’s see how they last. With Manchester there is always talk about a dip, but it never happens. A lot gets decided over Christmas: the team that hangs in there best, that can resist the best, will take the title.”