Jose Mourinho has admitted that he now understands why Arsene Wenger awarded the Arsenal captaincy to a 21-year-old Cesc Fabregas but also says something like that would never happen at Chelsea.
The Gunners boss controversially promoted Fabregas to the club's captain halfway through the 2008/09 season following William Gallas' equally controversial demotion. The defender lost his privileged position after openly criticising his team-mates after a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Despite Fabregas' tender years, by that point he was already considered one of the finest midfielders in Europe and certainly the best young midfielder. He was a key player for the Gunners and few within the club questioned Wenger's decision.
“Now I understand at the age of 19, 20, 21 he was Arsenal captain, now I can understand that" - Jose Mourinho
Fabregas captained Arsenal until the summer of 2011 when he forced his way out of the Emirates Stadium to rejoin his boyhood club Barcelona. However, the move was far from a success and he left to join Chelsea in the summer.
And after having a chance to work with the Spain international, Mourinho says he now understands just why Wenger made the decision he did. However, the Special One also concedes that such a decision would never be accepted at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to ITV Mourinho said: “Now I understand at the age of 19, 20, 21 he was Arsenal captain, now I can understand that.
"He is not the captain here because here we have a different philosophy of big guys who have had many years at the club but his personality and profile are fantastic.”
Fabregas' standing at Arsenal mde Wenger's decision to reject the chance to sign him a controversial one. The 27-year-old's stunning form has only highlighted the potential mistake.
In just eight Premier League games he has already scored one goal and assisted an impressive seven. He also contributed to Chelsea's 2-0 victory over his former club by providing the pass to Diego Costa for the second goal.