Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has opened on his reasons for allowing Cesc Fabregas to join Chelsea.
Fabregas rose to fame at Arsenal upon breaking into the first-team before he had even become 18. The Catalan spent eight years starring in Wenger’s midfield, making 303 appearances and becoming captain in 2008.
He left in 2011 to join hometown club Barcelona before returning to the Premier League three years later with Chelsea.
Fabregas became an instrumental part of the Blues midfield, helping them win two Premier League titles and an FA Cup, on route to making 198 appearances in all competitions. He left London again in January 2019 for AS Monaco in France.
But had Wenger taken up his option for first refusal on Cesc five years earlier, the World Cup winner would’ve re-joined Arsenal instead of their London rivals.
On why he allowed that transfer to happen, Wenger told the Athletic: “Because it was general guidance for me to say that ‘if you go out here you don’t come back’.
“It was a way to retain the players who sometimes wanted to see if the grass was greener somewhere else.
“I did it for Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell, Jens Lehman but it was different. You know with the young players who left I didn’t like to do it.”