Paul Merson has defended Cesc Fabregas for moving to Barcelona in 2011.
The Spaniard, who had been poached from Barcelona by Arsenal when he was still a youngster, told the club of his desire to move back to the Camp Nou in 2011.
The Gunners made it clear to him that he wasn’t for sale but he forced the move and returned to Barcelona.
He spent three years with the Spanish champions and won just one La Liga title before he returned to England with Chelsea.
Arsenal fans were understandably furious with him when he left and he was subsequently denied the chance to return to the Emirates.
However, Paul Merson has risked the wrath of Arsenal fans by defending the Spaniard’s decision to swap north London for Catalonia at the time.
He claimed that it is always hard for players to turn down a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid and he thinks it wasn’t such a bad idea that Fabregas left to join one of the Spanish giants.
Merson told SkySports: “I can understand the reason Cesc Fabregas laid out as to why he left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2011.
“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 continued.
“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.”
Well, if Merson is happy with how Fabregas left then good for him, personally, when I see one of our players with another teams jersey and agitating for a move I draw a different conclusion.