Arsenal: The £25 million signing has a greater legacy than Cesc Fabregas

Arsenal: The £25 million signing has a greater legacy than Cesc Fabregas

Arsenal: The £25 million signing has a greater legacy than Cesc Fabregas
Despite winning an FA Cup and two Community Shields with Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas is unlikely to be the club’s most popular player.

The Spanish midfield maestro spent seven seasons playing for the Gunners, making 303 appearances, netting 57 goals a recording an incredible 95 assists.

However, unfortunately for Arsenal fans, Fabregas returned to his boyhood club Barcelona in 2011, but the true kick in the teeth came in 2014 when he signed for bitter rivals Chelsea, where he would go on to win two Premier Leagues – something he never managed to do at Arsenal.

What caused Cesc Fabregas to depart Arsenal?

Arsenal supporters had a great deal of affection for the now-retired 36-year-old, but since his transfers to Barcelona and primarily Chelsea, it’s probably safe to say that his legacy is not what it once was.

In a revealing interview with Arseblog in March 2020, Fabregas disclosed he left the club due to the pressure he faced as captain and the subpar quality of his teammates.

He stated, “As captain, I was always under so much duress. I was responsible for leading this team to victory. I gave it my all. Occasionally, I would return home after a loss and weep.

“I used to suffer, I used to endure through sleepless nights. And then you lose a game, you’re in the bus like this, ruined, and you hear some players chuckling as they consider where they’ll go out later.

“This has been occurring for several years. And at one point I felt somewhat isolated. During the last two or three years, I felt that Robin and Samir were the only players who were at my level mentally and technically. This is not a conceited statement; it is simply how I felt at the time.
In his seven seasons with Arsenal, the Europa League winner won just three trophies, and by the time he departed in 2011, the club had not won the Premier League or FA Cup since 2004 and 2005, respectively.

However, fortunately for Arsenal fans, manager Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu have been able to revolutionise Arsenal as a club and its squad of players.

With players like Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, and William Saliba pushing the red side of London to be serious title contenders, there are now very few who can dispute the squad’s incredibly high quality.
Who has a more significant legacy than Cesc Fabregas?

It could be argued that many current Arsenal players will eventually leave a greater legacy than Cesc Fabregas.

But even controversial former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka could have departed the Gunners with a far greater reputation and standing this summer.

The Swiss midfielder signed for legendary manager Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2016 for £25 million from Borussia Monchengladbach. Prior to joining Bayern Leverkusen this summer, he made 297 appearances for Arsenal, netting 23 goals and registering 29 assists in all competitions.

The 30-year-old soon became one of Arsenal’s most divisive players due to his lackluster play. During his tenure at Arsenal, he received 76 yellow cards and five red cards in all competitions for reckless challenges.

The journalist Mark Man-Braynes once aptly summed up Xhaka’s performances during this period of his Arsenal tenure with a single X.

He remarked, “Petulant booking for AFC captain Xhaka – tugs back Grealish as his counterpart just turns and walks past him with the ball.”

Xhaka’s controversial performances culminated in 2019 when he was stripped of his captaincy during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace after arguing with the supporters.

The midfielder was jeered by Arsenal supporters as he was being substituted, prompting him to cup his ear to the fans, rip off his shirt, and walk directly down the tunnel.

However, after the advent of Arteta and the acquisition of new players, which allowed Arsenal to flourish, Xhaka appeared to be reborn as a player.

During the previous season, the midfielder was a member of the team that held the record for the longest stretch at the top of the Premier League without winning it.

At one stage during the season, they were eight points ahead of eventual treble winners Manchester City. However, they finished the season five points behind the Champions, having completely capitulated by losing two of their final five games.

During Arsenal’s title challenge, the Basel Youth Academy graduate received a great deal of acclaim for his performances; even BBC commentator Garth Crooks emphasized his significance to the club and the adoration he received from the supporters.

He wrote for BBC Sport, “I dislike Granit Xhaka because I find him confrontational, excessively aggressive, and generally annoying. Nonetheless, he is an excellent player on his day. He ought to have departed Arsenal many years ago.

Such is his popularity these days that he has not only remained at the club but also occasionally dons the captain’s insignia.

His performances were bolstered by his 7.05 Sofascore rating from the previous season, which ranked him eighth in the team and ahead of lorded defenders Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.

Last season, he played 3,700 minutes in all competitions, which was the fourth most among the entire squad, demonstrating his importance.

Arsenal: The £25 million signing has a greater legacy than Cesc Fabregas