Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has insisted that his love for Arsenal will never change despite playing for their rivals.
As reported by The Guardian, the Spanish international, who returned to English soil last summer, claims he will always have memories from his period in north London.
Fabregas, of course, left the Gunners in favour of a move to Spanish giants Barcelona, but returned to England after a tricky spell in Spain.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Unsurprisingly, then, fans of Arsenal were't overjoyed when their former captain joined Jose Mourinho's side, but Fabregas, who is set to line up against his former club in this weekend's Community Shield showdown, has insisted that he will never have a bad word to say about the club.
“Whatever it is, it is. The love I have for that club will never change whatever happens and what is the most important is what I have with me are the memories,” said Fàbregas, who spent eight years at Arsenal.
Love for Arsenal
“The rest doesn’t matter. I have great memories, love and respect for the club. You will never hear anything bad from me about them.
“Of course, it is not the most important game but we want to win and compete. It is a big game, a London derby at Wembley in front of all the fans – it’s a nice competition to play in.
"Even if it is a pre-season game you still want to win. We are not worried that they might be fresher than us – they started 10 days before us – but we are competitors, we will want to win and it will probably be a great game.”
The closest race yet
There's no doubt about it, after running away with the title last term, Fabregas and his Chelsea teammates will begin the 2015/16 campaign as the favourites to retain their title, but this season may well prove one of the closest in Premier League history.
Chelsea's rivals have all improved, with Arsenal having taken former Blues shot-stopper Petr Cech to the Emirates.
Ultimately, the signing of Cech really is a huge one for the Gunners, who have struggled in the goalkeeping department for some time now. The experienced 'keeper really will make a huge difference to Arsene Wenger's side, who will be determined to end their wait for league success.
Fabregas, though, could once again have a key role to play in the outcome and Chelsea fans will be hoping to see him hit top form right from the off.
Can Arsenal overhaul Chelsea at the summit of the table next season? Have your say below!