Cesc Fabregas inspired Julio Pleguezuelo to sign for Arsenal

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Julio Pleguezuelo says the success story of Cesc Fabregas was one of the main reasons he decided to quit Barcelona to join Arsenal last summer.

The 17-year-old followed a long line of Barcelona prospects last summer when he swapped the Catalonia sun for the Emirates Stadium.

The likes of Fran Merida, Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin have all left the famous La Masia academy to join up with Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, experiencing varying levels of success in north London.

Fabregas is by far the most famous player to have been plucked by the Gunners. Making his debut as a 16-year-old, Fabregas went on to captain Arsenal before eventually returning to Barcelona as a first team player.

Pleguezuelo says it is the fact that he had friends already in London, coupled with Fabregas' success story, helped him make his mind up when Arsenal came calling.

He told Arsenal's official website: "I learned so much, but I had to think about what chances I would get at Barcelona and what chances I would get at Arsenal. I had to make sure I did what was best for my career, and I feel like I have made the right decision.

"I also knew Hector [Bellerin] and Jon [Toral] from their time at Barcelona, and it really helped that they were at Arsenal. They told me beforehand that I would learn a lot from playing English football, plus I could see that they were getting on well here, so I thought ‘why not me?’

"Cesc Fabregas is another example. I remember watching him in the Arsenal first team when I was younger and he was absolutely amazing. He was in the first team when he was my age, so he’s a real inspiration."

Pleguezuelo made an impression in the Arsenal academy last season, becoming one of the youngest players to feature for the under-21 side five or more times.

Although a first team berth looks some way away for the central defender, there are already promising signs that he could yet tread at least a similar path to that of Fabregas.

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