Morgan Schneiderlin admits Cesc Fabregas made him angry

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Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has revealed why he put in a reckless challenge on Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas earlier this season: because the Spaniard wouldn't stop talking.

The France international was sent off in the closing stages of December's fixture at St Mary's, which finished 1-1, for his rash tackle on the Chelsea star - and speaking to respected French publication L'Equipe months after the incident Schneiderlin insists he was provoked.

The central midfielder, who is wanted by Arsenal, admits he momentarily lost his composure and paid the price as a result.

Schneiderlin: Fabregas is a wind-up merchant

"I was angry with Cesc Fabregas because he wouldn't stop talking, putting in small hits," Schneiderlin was quoted as saying by “It made me lose my composure and, in a move, I forgot that I already had a warning."

This is an interesting admission from Schneiderlin, who is famed for his combative style of play but wouldn't be described by many as a dirty player, per se.

Schneiderlin: A tackling master

The 25-year-old, who attempted to force a move away from Southampton last summer, has made more tackles on average per match than all but one Premier League player this season.

Schneiderlin makes an average of 3.6 tackles per match - the same number as Nemanja Matic, Francis Coquelin and George Boyd - a figure only marginally short of the four tackles per match set by Manchester City right-back Pablo Zabaleta, according to WhoScored.

Some Arsenal fans lost respect for Fabregas

That Schneiderlin was sent off for a tackle on Fabregas would have endeared him to some sections of the Arsenal faithful, who lost a lot of respect for the Spain international after he agreed to join Chelsea last summer.

It should be noted, however, that Fabregas almost certainly would have joined Arsenal from Barcelona had Arsene Wenger given the green light.

The Gunners' boss felt Fabregas would have been an unnecessary signing with so many talented passing midfielders already at his disposal.

Schneiderlin or Coquelin?

Schneiderlin, though, is more of a destroyer than a midfield schemer and would be a significant upgrade on Mathieu Flamini.

But Wenger may feel that, following the surprise emergence of Coquelin, Arsenal are no longer in desperate need of a new holding midfielder.

Coquelin signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners earlier this year, but is not quite in the same class as the excellent Schneiderlin, who will once again be a man in demand this summer.

Arsenal fans: would you sign Morgan Schneiderlin as an upgrade for Francis Coquelin? Have your say in the comments below!

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