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Cesc Fabregas says Arsenal declined buy-back option due to Mesut Ozil

Jun 15, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT

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After signing with Chelsea for $46 million (£27m) last week, Cesc Fabregas has admitted that he chose the Blues only after Arsenal declined to exercise a buy-back option in his contract with Barcelona.

The 27-year-old Catalan native claims it was he who decided his time with the Blaugrana was up and that former club Arsenal did not chase his signature due to the presence of Mesut Ozil. That loss was Chelsea’s gain after manager Jose Mourinho convinced Fabregas of other options available to him in the Premier League.

From The Guardian:

When I decided that my time at Barcelona had ended, I looked for the best option for me. Arsenal was the first option, for contractual reasons. There was a clause that gave them the right to decide. We spoke to Wenger and he said that the space was very well filled by Mesut Özil and it was hard to find a place for both of us in the team.

I wanted to go back to the Premier League and I had to think about what my options were then. I had many very good offers, the logical options. I spoke to José Mourinho and he told me that he wanted me there. He convinced me very, very quickly. He told me what I wanted to hear; he won me over and convinced me. It was very quick. I am very happy, very satisfied and I think it will all go phenomenally well.

Despite having a number of central midfielders, Arsenal’s decision not to pursue Fabregas is one that has many Gunners fans up in arms. Capable of playing in the holding role or the attacking three, Fabregas has more quality than Mikel Arteta and would provide more offensive firepower to the first-choice holding pair of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. But it’s Fabregas’ ability to create further up the pitch that makes Arsenal’s decline even more surprising, as Santi Cazorla’s desire to leave North London in favor of a move to Atletico Madrid is threatening to unhitch the attacking three.

More than mere positional help, though, is the fact that Fabregas is a player who has already proven himself a brilliant fit in Wenger’s system. Noted to be ‘like a son’ to Wenger, Fabregas was raised on the Frenchman’s style of play and would seamlessly fit in with the current core of players. He is, in short, a guaranteed thing, a quality hard to find in today’s crazy puzzle of football transfers.


  1. mikeymo74 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    Fabregas wouldn’t play a defensive midfield role, which is what Arsenal really needs. Their midfield is otherwise overstocked with options if healthy. They don’t need him. While it’s frustrating to see Fabregas go to Chelsea, that’s no reason to sign him. They need to focus on replacing Sagna and getting another strike to spell/complement Giroud.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:10 AM

      The Ozil signing looked very bad about 10 games into the season. Now that it is preventing the return of Cesc, it looks positively wretched. There’s no way Wenger would have signed Ozil if he thought there was even a slight chance of Cesc leaving Barca this soon.

      I know, hindsight is 20/20. Such is the unpredictable nature of world soccer and especially the shifting sands at the top of every table. But it certainly adds an insult to the injury of having signed the sour, dour Ozil. Everything you need to know about Ozil’s effect on team chemistry was on display before Christmas, when Per Mertesacker took him to task for refusing to clap off the away fans at the Etihad.

  2. rafibomb10 - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    King Wenger continues to make all of us Gooner fans go absolutely bonkers. Kim Kallestrom any one?

    A top player in the world WANTS to come back, in his prime, and you give him one of those “eh you’ve been replaced”. That is poor Arsene, just poor.

    Now that one of my favorite players will be suiting up in a Chelsea jersey can I become a Blues fan? You’betcha!

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