Cesc Fabregas reaffirms his love for Arsenal and admits he has eyes on a return in one way or another

The former Gunners captain admits his 'biggest regret' is not lifting a trophy during his time leading the north London side

It is almost 10 years since Cesc Fabregas, aged just 16, made his Arsenal debut against Rotherham and while he is currently preparing himself for tomorrow’s much-anticipated Clásico with Real Madrid, it is clear the North London club is still very much a part of him.

He may be fortunate enough to play alongside players like Leo Messi, Neymar, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, but it is intriguing to wonder how he would slot into Arsenal’s current midfield – already boasting Mesut Özil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.

However it seems certain that one day he will return to the club, if only to pursue a coaching career.

“I’m sure they would give me the option to help out there,” he told the Daily Mail. “Sol Campbell is there at the moment. Dennis Bergkamp also went there two or three times a week to train when he was doing his coaching badges. It’s a great club in that sense.”

Considering Arsenal is the club that essentially created Fabregas as a footballer, it is not surprising that he sounds like a fan when talking about them – sharing in the collective hysteria following their latest super signing.

“If you have the chance to sign Mesut Ozil then you can’t let it pass you by,” he said to quash any suggestion that the club were already well stocked in that area.

“He wanted to play for Arsenal. Wenger won him over and when you have the chance with a player like that it doesn’t matter if you already have seven or eight who are similar, you have to take it.”

Of course Özil is a player that Fabregas knows only too well, particularly considering it was his pass that set up what was effectively a title-sealing goal from Cristiano Ronaldo two seasons ago.

“Ozil is the man who makes the difference in the final third,” Fabregas said. “He will find so much space in the Premier League and he’s a player who with space kills you. His final pass is brilliant. And he will score more goals in England than he did in Spain. He is a spectacular signing.”

“Ozil will bring the best out in Ramsey and Wilshere. They understand football the same way.

“‘The only player who maybe is a bit different is Theo Walcott but you also need that type of player because it’s true that at the end of pass, pass, pass you need a Pedro — someone who will get behind the opposition. Someone who gives depth and hits space.

“You need a Walcott or a Robin van Persie. The movement Van Persie gives you is incredible. Players of the quality of Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Ozil, Wilshere, you can never have enough.”

Fabregas also believes that another of Arsene Wenger’s summer signings, Mathieu Flamini, will prove crucial this season.

“That is what makes Arsenal special,” he said. “Because if you saw Flamini play at Milan he is not the same player and yet he was doing the same thing but it was not valued the same way.

“Arsenal have players who have great movement and Mathieu interprets that very well. And he runs something like 13km every match, something incredible. I am happy he is back.”

The Spanish international also reserved special praise for Aaron Ramsey after his fantastic start to the season.

“Ramsey’s stamina is spectacular. He and Flamini are the best I’ve ever seen in terms of covering the ground and being physically strong. And Wilshere is a little different from the typical English player.

“He is not a Steven Gerrard or a Frank Lampard, he is more of a short passer who keeps moving the ball around the pitch.

“Ramsey is one of those you look at and think, “You know what? He doesn’t stand out in anything in particular, but he does absolutely everything so well.

“His touch is good, his movement is good. Now he is scoring too. And he gives final passes, which we had not seen before. He is a beast of a team player. He and Wilshere have a brilliant future.”

On Arsenal’s trophy drought, Fabregas was honest about the past and remains reasonably optimistic that the blend of youth and experience in the squad will bring the positive results that have evaded them for so many years.

“In the end, it was a mental thing — when you lose the final of the Carling Cup against Birmingham who then were relegated... you can imagine how that feels. The manager gave a lot of freedom to the young players and that is why they are so good today, because he did not overload them with pressure but when things like that happen with the age of the side it’s tough.

“When everyone is so young it is difficult for someone to stand up and say, “Come on!” We often had meetings to solve the problem and they helped and we made sense of things but that experience was missing. Now they have found a very good balance. They have people there who have a lot of experience like Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta and Lukas Podolski.

“What the team has now is the strength of character that was maybe lacking in the past and was only ever going to come with age.

 “They look very strong so far, so let’s just see how they last the season.

“There are a lot of games and we always know with the Premier League that sometimes you are going very well and then you lose two matches and you drop quickly, it’s very sudden.”

Since Fabregas left Arsenal for Barcelona he has picked up six trophies although he is under no illusions as to whom he should thank for the majority of his success as a footballer.

“At 16 I was training with Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira. I’d played 50 games when I was still 17 and a Champions League final at 18.

“Aged 19 I had played in a World Cup final. If I had stayed at Barcelona I would have arrived more slowly, if at all, to those things."

Suggested Topics
News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
people
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits