Arsenal legend Merson defends ‘great servant’ Fabregas over Barca transfer

Date published: Sunday 29th March 2020 1:25

Paul Merson thinks Cesc Fabregas was right to leave Arsenal for Barcelona back in 2011 following the Spaniard’s comments about the quality of Arsene Wenger’s squad.

Fabregas swapped the Emirates Stadium for the Camp Nou in 2011 after spending eight years under Wenger at Arsenal, where he only had an FA Cup and a Community Shield to show for his efforts.

The current Monaco midfielder claimed on Wednesday that just two of his Arsenal teammates were at his “level” when he decided to leave the club for Barca.

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And Merson understands Fabregas‘ decision and called him a “great servant” to the Gunners.

“I can understand the reason Cesc Fabregas laid out as to why he left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2011,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“I don’t know too many footballers, who when Barcelona and Real Madrid come calling don’t go. Fabregas is an interesting case because he did leave Barcelona as a youngster to go to Arsenal, but he couldn’t turn it down when they came calling again.

“I can’t think of too many players that could turn it down. You may get a player to wait around another year, but they always end up going in the end, and I had no problem with Fabregas going when he did.

“He was a great servant for Arsenal, and I can understand where he was coming from when he spoke about the pressure on winning trophies and the club’s lack of recruitment.

“He’d given his all for the club and the reality is that he could probably see Arsenal were a team in decline, and as I said, I don’t know too many professional footballers who could turn down Barcelona. ‘

“In the end, his decision was proved right. The lad’s a special player, there’s no doubt about it. Whatever football team he’d have gone to he would have improved. There are not many footballers around the world that can say they can walk into any side in the world and improve it.

“There are players like Van Dijk, Kevin de Bruyne, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo that can do it, but not many. Fabregas was a special talent and I had no qualms with how his time at Arsenal ended.”


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