Cesc: Wenger convinced me to join Gunners
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has underlined the influence that manager Arsene Wenger had in his decision to move to north London aged just 16.
Fabregas was speaking at an Arsenal members’ Q&A session at Emirates Stadium and he explained how the Arsenal boss cut his summer holidays short in order to meet the Spaniard.
“I was very young and was still playing for the Barcelona youth team,” said the 22-year-old.
“Arsene Wenger had never been to see me play, but after I signed, Arsenal’s Spanish scout told me that they had come to see me 44 times,” he continued.
“When I came to talk with Arsenal aged 16, Arsene was the one who came to see me. He had cut his holiday to come to speak with me, and at 16 it had a big impact on my decision.”
With the Premier League season kicking off in under two weeks, Fabregas believes that he must improve every aspect of his game, scoring more goals in the process.
“Individually, my target [for this season] is to improve everything, because at my age, I believe it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “Of course if I can score more goals than ever, the better it will be for the team.”
And the Spaniard also believes that a number of injuries to key defensive players hampered Arsenal’s title challenge last season.
“Last season we had some little problems with injuries. You could see different partnerships at centre back every match, and I think that changed the shape of the team a little bit.”
“For the last three seasons, we have been unlucky with injuries so hopefully this year we can all stay fit.”
Fabregas went on to discuss Arsenal’s targets going into the new league campaign.
“We will never start the season thinking that we are going to finish fourth. Every big club goes through difficult moments and we are in one at Arsenal.”
“But we have to be stronger than ever and stick together and I’m sure we will be fine. The quality is here and I believe we can do it.”
Gunners fans will have been impressed by the emergence of young homegrown talent after last weekend’s Emirates Cup, and Fabregas was quick to praise the Gunners’ youth system.
“For every club you can have big names coming in, but when you have a talent that comes through the youth system, I think it is one of the proudest things for a club.”
“You’ve seen Jack Wilshere in those two games and Fran Merida came here from Barcelona when he was 15 – now he’s 19 so he’s been working with Arsenal for four years and he has improved a lot.”
“And when I was injured I was training a lot with the reserves, and there is some really great potential in there.”