Newly-signed Chelsea star Francesc Fabregas has further stoked the flames of hatred from the supporters of former club Arsenal, but insisting that he does not care if they burn his shirts.
The Spanish midfielder completed a £27million switch from Barcelona last week, in a transfer marred with controversy. However the Daily Express relay quotes from the player himself, initially reported by Marca, which confirm that he does not regret signing for one of his ex-club’s biggest domestic rivals, and isn’t going to be put down by the fact that Gunners supporters are now burning shirts with his name on the back.
“I'm mature enough for that not to hurt," Fabregas told Spanish reporters.
"I have explained it well. I've always been very loyal and grateful to Arsenal.
"There was a first option they could exercise, I talked with Arsene Wenger and he told me that the area was covered with Özil, but there is always fans who want to cause trouble."
The latest comments made by the 27-year-old are highly unlikely to do anything other than irk already disgruntled Arsenal fans, who clearly feel betrayed by Fabregas’ decision to sign for Jose Mourinho. Though the playmaker had failed to break up the midfield triumvirate of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets at the Nou Camp, he remains a former captain of Arsene Wenger’s, and so the likely root of the annoyance emanating from the Emirates Stadium lies in the fact that he opted to sign for Chelsea, rather than the fact that he isn’t at Arsenal.
Indeed supporters of the north London giants have been made well aware that Wenger had the chance to sign Fabregas and opted not to, but that won’t make it any less of a bitter pill to swallow. Whilst at Arsenal the Spain international became a pivotal pillar of the club, and few would have been against the idea of him making a glorious homecoming this summer.
Alas it was not to be, and now Fabregas will be focusing his attentions of ensuring that his former team don’t break their Premier League title duct next season rather than aiding them in doing just that. Capable of playing in a number of roles in the middle of the park he will most certainly offer Mourinho something that he was missing at times last year, and his reputation paves the way for him to become a long-term replacement for the departing Frank Lampard.
As of yet it remains to be seen exactly who he will be lining up alongside at Stamford Bridge though, as the futures of a number of first-team players look less than secure. Constant speculation ensures that Ramires is never seemingly too far from a potential exit, whilst the likes of John Obi Mikel, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku could all find themselves being sold on to generate funds.
It’s believed that the Blues are currently in the advanced stages of securing deals for Atletico Madrid pair Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, as Mourinho looks to improve his squad ahead of next year’s competitions.