Will Fabregas Find His Square Hole?

Both Cesc Fabregas and Barcelona must have regrets about his three-year spell at the Nou Camp; Barca never quite gave him the chance to play in midfield...

Last Updated: 15/08/14 at 09:11 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Bar Fight In Bilbao Ends 2014 In La Liga

Post comment

With Real Madrid playing at the Club World Cup, all eyes in La Liga turn to Atletico Madrid's trip to Athletic Bilbao this weekend. It could be brutal...

History Repeats Itself for Barren Barcelona

2 comments

Getafe have been a regular thorn in the side of Barcelona, and they repeated their trick to leave Luis Enrique's side four points behind Real Madrid. Things look pretty worrying...

All Articles

José Mourinho must have had the demeanor and bust of a steamy seductress in a Mexican soap opera. "They don't love you there, Cesc. They don't appreciate you. They don't realise how special you are."

Whatever tactics used by the teasing Chelsea manager, they worked perfectly with the Catalan midfielder ending three years at the Camp Nou, the place where he was born to play.

Ideally, the 27-year-old would have been seeing out his playing career in Catalunya after returning to the club were he began his football life. Instead, Cesc must be feeling full of regret having never really been given an opportunity to take a leading role at Barcelona. Although patience was always going to be a virtue with Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta around, the golden generation was taking too much shifting, despite clear signs of its decline last year.

It is difficult to know if the versatile midfielder feels those campaigns were time lost and if it would have been better never to have never left Arsenal in the first place. Of course, when Barcelona came a-calling, Fabregas had to make the move or it would have bugged him until his dying days. But in retrospect, the transfer was a case of Barça wanting the footballer because it was the romantic thing to do, rather than the astute move for both parties.

To this end, Fabregas was never really given a proper role in the team, being shifted around in midfield and even up front, a feature of the footballer's time with Spain as well. However, Cesc always played his part dutifully and was remarkably effective. Last season saw a haul of 13 assists in the league and eight goals. 2012/13 produced 11 league goals and 11 assists in La Primera, fine figures for a footballer who became a boo-boy for some in the Camp Nou, unhappy at the failing form of the team.

This was certainly the case in what turned out to be Cesc's final year at Barça. Supporters would never turn on the pure Masia products such as Lionel Messi and Iniesta, which left the former Arsenal man as the scapegoat. In April, the midfielder was barracked by sections of the Camp Nou when coming on a substitute against Athletic Bilbao, not the first time that animosity towards the player had become demonstrably clear.

The departure of Frank Lampard leaves a perfectly shaped hole for Fabregas to fill. After three years in La Liga, the player now has a clearly defined raison d'être. "I know my place is in midfield - I want to play there and I think the coach knows that."

Whether or not Barça are happy to have Cesc off their hands is another matter. On one level, clearly it is better to have top-class players knocking about in the squad, but the move away from Catalunya may see a sigh of relief at the departure of a disgruntled player. However, the accursed Mourinho being the lead seducer would have rankled once a return to Arsenal had been moved out.

Despite commendable statistics during his time at Barcelona, Cesc has some catching up to do, having arrived at the tail-end of Barça's golden spell. Chelsea looks like being the perfect place to fulfill his ambitions under a manager apparently willing to let him take the lead on the pitch, rather than being a square peg in a round hole, which summed up much of Cesc's life at Barcelona.

Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Scottish Championship: SFA has reject Rangers' request to increase Mike Ashley's shareholding in club

The SFA has turned down a request from Rangers to allow Mike Ashley to increase his shareholding in the club to 29.9 per cent.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property