What Arsene Wenger told Cesc Fabregas when he asked to rejoin Arsenal
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What Arsene Wenger told Cesc Fabregas when he asked to rejoin Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas has claimed that he wanted to return to Arsenal when he left Barcelona, but the Gunners rejected the opportunity to sign him.

The Spanish World Cup winner was a guest on Kammy and Ben’s Proper Football Podcast, where he opened up about his time as a Gunner back in the day.

Fabregas was asked why he didn’t rejoin Arsenal when he left Barcelona. Here’s what he said…

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Cesc Fabregas says he wanted to rejoin Arsenal after leaving Barcelona

Fabregas joined Arsenal as a teenager back in 2003 and became a fan favourite. Arsene Wenger named him the captain when he was just 21, and he was one of the best midfielders in Europe during his time in North London.

In 2011, Fabregas decided he wanted to go back home to Barcelona. Arsenal reluctantly let him go, but the Gunners had the option to sign him back.

Wenger, however, turned that down in 2014 because he felt Arsenal had plenty of players in the Spaniard’s position. That opened the door for Chelsea to sign him.

Fabregas said: “I really wanted to go back to the Premier League. In the contract when I signed for Barcelona we said that, after I leave, Arsenal will have the first option. They had a week to respond.

“So obviously we approached Arsenal, we said ‘Listen I’m leaving Barcelona and by law, you have a week to decide if you want to take me back or not.’ For a week I couldn’t talk to anyone (else).

“We noticed (sic) Arsenal, Arsene, everyone, so after a week we called Arsene and he said he’d thought about it and he said they already had a lot of players in my position like Mesut Ozil…Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and he said to fit me in he would have to play someone out and this could create, you know…I think also he was a little bit hurt…by how I left and everything.

“I don’t hold anything bad because it’s their right, their decision and they could do what they wanted. I had a few options and one of them was Chelsea. I spoke to Mourinho, I met him. He told me things that were very nice to hear. He wanted me to be the leader of that team. It just felt right.”

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Fabregas joined Mourinho at Chelsea in 2014 and that infuriated Arsenal fans.

The Spaniard was loved by almost every supporter at the Emirates, but his decision to play for the Blues went down really badly in the red half of North London.

Fabregas receives mixed reactions even to this day because of his association with Chelsea, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon – even though he still loves Arsenal.

Perhaps he could win over the fans by returning as a coach one day – he has been spotted helping Jack Wilshere train the U18s at Arsenal on more than one occasion recently.

After a popular first series, Kammy and Ben’s Proper Football Podcast will return to BBC Sounds for Series 2 on March 9, 2023, at 7am. New episodes will be released every Thursday, available first on BBC Sounds.

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