Clichy expects Fabregas to improve further

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The Independent Online

Gael Clichy has warned Arsenal's rivals the best is yet to come from in-form skipper Cesc Fabregas.

The Spain midfielder has gone from strength to strength since his return to action for the Gunners despite summer-long speculation linking him with a return to hometown club Barcelona.

After playing a key role in Arsenal's victory over Bolton at the weekend, the World Cup winner then went on the rampage against Braga in last night's Champions League opener, scoring twice and providing two assists as Arsene Wenger's side ran out 6-0 winners at the Emirates Stadium.

The 23-year-old would have had his first Arsenal hat-trick had it not been for some acrobatic defending from Braga centre half Moises, who hooked the playmaker's effort clear just yards from the line in the second period last night.

Clichy, who, like Fabregas, signed for the club in the summer of 2003, now expects even greater things from his captain as Arsenal look to bring their first piece of silverware to the club since 2005.

"Can he get better? I think so," said the France left-back.

"He is only 23 and the guy is already a world champion and European champion too so there is nothing more I can say about Cesc.

"He showed last night and in the game before that he is the best and that he's an Arsenal player and he wants to win trophies for us."

Barcelona had a £30million bid for the Gunners maestro rejected earlier this summer while several members of the Spanish champions' squad claimed Fabregas had his heart set on a move back to the club where he began his career as a youngster.

Fabregas, who is contracted until 2014, is rumoured to have told Wenger before Spain's victorious World Cup campaign he wanted to leave the club, and is certain to be linked with the Catalan giants again next summer.

Clichy admires the way his skipper has got back to business so quickly despite all the hype surrounding his future.

He said: "People were saying that after the summer that he may go somewhere else but he is showing everyone else that he is a great player and a true professional.

"It's not easy to for him to forget what happened and I think he has shown everyone that once he is fit and is ready to play then he is one of the best so we're glad to have him and I hope he stays here for many years."

Jack Wilshere excelled alongside Fabregas at the heart of the Arsenal midfield last night.

Wilshere's creative touch has led to comparisons with Fabregas, who also made his Gunners debut at the age of 16.

Clichy hopes the England midfielder can emulate his captain but also warned not to expect too much too soon from the 18-year-old.

"I don't know if Jack can go on to be as good as Cesc, that's difficult to say," said Clichy.

"At the same age Cesc was already playing in the Arsenal starting XI along with people like Patrick (Vieira)

""Jack is a really good, talented player but he still has to show that he can be as good as Cesc.

"The talent is there, the quality is there but there is a big step between playing a few games and being the number one, like Cesc is.

"I hope he is as good as Cesc. That would be good for the team."

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