Arsene Wenger has claimed Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas is suffering from being a bit-part player at Camp Nou and needs regular football.
Speaking to Al Jazeera Sport, the Arsenal manager revealed that Fabregas is in a vicious circle that sees his confidence being knocked by not being a first choice for every game, which in turn affects his performance when he does play.
"I think at the moment he's lacking the confidence of being a regular player – recently he has not been that,” said Wenger.
"Cesc is such a passionate player, a player of such quality, that it must hurt him not to play in every single game. That's what he misses. When you come in and out you never play with full confidence."
Fabregas spent eight seasons with the Gunners before ‘returning home’ to Barcelona, where he was a part of the famed la Masia academy.
The 26-year-old’s on-field troubles at Camp Nou have resulted in him being linked with a return to Arsenal if imminent talks with Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova cannot resolve his issues.
However, other Premier League clubs have been credited with an interest in Fabregas; including Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Arsenal reportedly secured first option on Fabregas as part of the deal that took him to Barcelona in 2011 and a buy-back clause in the region of £25million.