Cesc Fabregas claims that Jose Mourinho persuaded him to join rivals Chelsea by assuring him that he would be winning the Premier League, and he wasn’t wrong.
The Spanish midfielder is currently plying his trade in France for Monaco, but with his current campaign having been cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic, he has been reminiscing over former times.
Cesc left Arsenal to return to his boyhood club in 2011, leaving his role as club captain, and went onto win La Liga and the FIFA World Club Cup with Barca.
After losing his role as a key first-team member in Spain, the midfielder looked to return to England, but when Arsenal turned down their first-option, it was Chelsea who persuaded him to join, with the help of Portuguese tactician Mourinho.
“Jose has one system but he works on that system very well. He’s got the specific players for the right system,” he explained.
“One day, when I first met him he told me “I need two players, I’m going to sign Diego Costa. If you come to me…”, he drew me the team on paper and said ‘this team is winning the title’.
“The first day I met him he said “I only need two players: Diego, who is basically signed” and then Thibaut Courtois was coming but if not it was Petr Cech.
“It’s basically the same. But he said: “you come, we will win the title”.
“After that, working with him, he’s probably the coach that played with my mind better. He’s a great coach for great players.
“He plays with the mind. He stimulates you.
“One day, we were doing very well in the league and he texts to tell you how good you are, how you played so well… [but then] “today you were rubbish”. Like this, he plays with you.”
Some fans refuse to forgive Cesc for joining our rivals, but it is clear to me that our club were the ones who chose against a reunion, one of a number of transfer decisions which our club has made wrong in recent years.
Mourinho wasn’t going to allow his club to miss out on the technical star however, and Fab went onto lift two league titles with the Blues before leaving for Monaco in January 2019 after Maurizio Sarri continued to overlook him in favour of Jorginho, Matteo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante.
Could Arsenal have won the Premier League with Fabregas? What reasoning could our club have used to turn down Cesc’s return?