Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas, who spent eight years under the French coach with the Gunners, and revealed the reasons why he reluctantly agreed to allow the Spaniard to rejoin his boyhood club in 2011.
Wenger, writing in his Eurosport column, said Fabregas is a “huge personality”, an “extremely intelligent player” and a “sweet person”, and that his greatest strength on the pitch is his unparalleled vision.
The veteran Arsenal boss also described Fabregas as a “killer” - because of his innate ability to always play the killing pass.
“It’s a telescopic head on a football field,” the 64-year-old wrote. “I think it would be interesting to film his head during a match once. He is always looking around him to see what’s going on. When he gets the ball, he has already seen everything that was going on around.
“He has a geographical map of the field in his head, from the first to the last minute of the match. And he is a killer, because he always makes a killing pass. One day, you will ask Messi which player is the most likely to give him a decisive pass. He’ll answer Fabregas.”
Barcelona paid Arsenal £35m to re-sign Fabregas, who grew up at La Masia alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, and Wenger admits he was powerless to prevent the Spanish World Cup winner from rejoining the Catalan giants.
“Fabregas said he was very sad when he left Arsenal, and he is not the only one! I fought with him to keep him but, deep down, I obviously knew,” he added. “[Fabregas] was raised in Barcelona; his grandfather worked for Barca; he went to all the FCB football classes; they had the best team in the world.
“I surrendered to his will of playing for them, and I think it was completely logical.”
Fabregas only managed to win one trophy during his eight years with Arsenal - the 2005 FA Cup - but has already won several items of silverware with Barcelona, including the 2012-13 La Liga title, the 2012 Copa del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup.