As one of the biggest clubs in world football, you have to be a special player to go down in Arsenal folklore as a 'club legend'.
Players who are seen as Gunners' greats include Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Liam Brady, and Charlie George. Another special player who wore the famous red and white was Francesc Fabregas. However, there is a big debate as to whether he should join this long line of legendary players.
Fabregas was brought to Arsenal in 2003 at the age of 16 from his hometown Barcelona and immediately made an impact in the academy. After outshining everyone in games for the Arsenal Reserves, he was soon picked by Arsene Wenger to play in the League Cup against Rotherham.
He therefore became the youngest Arsenal player in the club's history. Later that year, he became the club's youngest ever goalscorer when he netted against Wolves in the same competition.
After going from this to Arsenal captain in five years, you can see why many people think he is a club hero.
The Spaniard was pivotal in the Gunners' run to the Champions League final in 2005/06 and soon emerged as arguably the biggest young talent in European football. He soon added goals to his game and ran games week in week out.
After Arsenal's rebuilding stage between 2006-2010 after moving to the Emirates Stadium and his two close friends Flamini and Hleb leaving the club, Fabregas stuck around and became a fan's favorite, practically carrying the team from when Henry left in 2007 up to 2010.
However, it was one night in Milan when he stole the hearts of 'Gooners' across the world. His 30 yard wonder-goal with five minutes to go sent Arsenal into the quarter-final of the Champions League. He sprinted over to Wenger, who he soon after called "his Father", and celebrated with him. He truly epitomised Wenger's philosophy.
He was later made captain and led Arsenal in times of need. For example, the Saturday night against Stoke when Aaron Ramsey suffered a horrific leg-break, he put Arsenal on his back and led the team to an unlikely victory. This combined with throwing a pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson and being one of the best in the world, makes him, in the eyes of many Arsenal fans a club legend.
On the other hand, there are the fans who think differently. Despite leading Arsenal through a rough patch, he did leave Arsenal in their time of need. Wenger was starting to build a formidable team with Van Persie, Song, Walcott, Arshavin and Wilshere but Fabregas left the club when they needed to push on and sent them back to square one. He also supposedly faked an injury to not go on the 2011 pre-season tour and force his way through to his boyhood club, Barcelona. As well as not going to a game against Liverpool to go and watch the Grand Prix.
It's up to you whether you think Cesc Fabregas should go down in Arsenal history as one of the greats, you could argue it both ways. In my own personal opinion, I think that he was a very good player but isn't a club legend. If he'd stayed at Arsenal there's no doubt he would be but no-one forces their way out of a club and expects to be forgiven overnight.
He doesn't deserve to go in amongst the names that appear on the side of the Emirates Stadium. Saying that, things would be very different if he returned.
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