Arsene Wenger said this morning that his decision not to sign Cesc Fabregas back from Barcelona this summer was “easy to understand”.
The former Arsenal captain joined Chelsea instead, two years after leaving the Emirates for Spain. Wenger said while Fabregas’ preference was "certainly" to come back to Arsenal, Wenger chose to allow him to join Chelsea instead. On Sunday he will face Arsenal as a Chelsea player at Stamford Bridge.
"When he left we bought [Mesut] Ozil to buy an offensive player," Wenger explained. "We have [Santi] Cazorla, we have [Jack] Wilshere, we have [Aaron] Ramsey, we have [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are all offensive players.
"We were not in the need to buy offensive players. It makes sense if you just look at the balance of the team. I think that's a decision that is easy to understand."
Once Fabregas had decided to join Chelsea, Wenger said he had no regrets for not pursuing him.
"I believe his decision was already made," Wenger said. "I also told you why it was not a subject for us. We were in search of more up front and more defensive opportunities than creative midfielders. We have many."
Wenger hopes that Fabregas will get a "respectful welcome" from the Arsenal fans at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. "I have no personal animosity against Fabregas," Wenger said. "I wish him well. He’s a great player and a person and player I love. Once he left us, he left us. We are all professionals and we have to accept that."
Speaking when he joined Chelsea, Fabregas hinted that he wanted to return to north London then had no option but to join the Blues after he was turned down by his former manager.
"Changing clubs is part of the game and people must remember it was Arsenal who didn't take up the buy-back option for me," he said. "What am I going to do - retire? No way.
"I can understand some people at Arsenal are sad, some people are upset, some people are even angry. But I have to look after myself. I had to make a decision.
"I wanted to keep playing football, enjoying myself and my career and I felt that joining Chelsea was the best option for me. There would have been a reaction wherever I had gone."Reuse content