Wenger: Losing Fabregas may have been worse than Van Persie

Arsene Wenger admits it is difficult to gauge whether losing Cesc Fàbregas was a bigger blow to Arsenal than Robin van Persie's exit

Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fàbregas moved to Barcelona from Arsenal in 2011 Photo: Barcelona FC

Arsene Wenger admits it is difficult to gauge whether losing Cesc Fabregas was a bigger blow to Arsenal than Robin van Persie’s exit.

Fabregas left Arsenal after eight years in north London in August 2011 to return to boyhood club Barcelona, while Van Persie made the switch to domestic rivals Manchester United last summer.

Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere was recently quoted as saying that Fabregas’ departure upset him more than Van Persie’s exit last year.

And Wenger concedes that losing both players just before the start of the season had a negative impact on his side.

“It is always difficult to say [which loss was worse] or prove more or less,” said Wenger.

“We lost two great players, one was an exceptional striker, the other an exceptional midfielder.

“Where Jack is right is that it did hurt us twice and hit us twice in a very hard way because we struggled [afterwards], especially at the start of the season, and it took us time to come back.

“This season is the first season [for a few years] where we did not lose a great player and is why as well we had the advantage of a better start.

“On top of that as well we bought a great player [Mesut Ozil], which helped even more.”

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