Cesc Fabregas will return to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, when he hopes to kill off any lingering hopes Arsenal have of winning the title.
Having left his hometown club Barcelona to join the Gunners in 2003, Fabregas soon established himself as one of the brightest stars in European football. But having failed to collect the silverware he so craved at Arsene Wenger’s club, he returned to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2011 and went on to win six major honours before he found regular first team football hard to come by.
This resulted in a return to England last summer, but despite willing to return to Arsenal who had the first option to sign him, he wasn’t offered such a move and instead joined their rivals Chelsea. Fabregas returns to the Emirates Stadium this weekend, when a win would put the Blues within three points of the Premier League title whilst almost certainly ending the hopes of his old pals.
“We just want to win it,” he told chelseafc.com. “The sooner, the better. We want to give satisfaction to the supporters. It’s been five years for them without winning the Premier League title; for me it’s been 27 years so I’d love to win it as soon as possible. It’s massive. We are level on games now, we are 10 points in front and we don’t want to give them hope to put pressure on us.”
Although it was Arsenal who decided not to take Fabregas back in the summer, the 27-year-old can expect a hostile reception from the home supporters who still believe he was treacherous for joining such a close rival. Wenger, though, feels this is unfair, and he hopes his former captain will instead be given a welcome befitting of a player who was once so close to their hearts.
“I want every player to be respected, and Fabregas when he comes to the Emirates on Sunday to be respected like he deserves,” he said. “The regret I have is that he wanted to leave here. This club and myself had a very positive influence on Cesc’s life, so I would be a bit uncomfortable to have to justify why he is not here. I believe I would rather it was the other way around.”
If you’re an Arsenal fan attending the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening, do you intend to jeer Cesc Fabregas or do you think he deserves a warm welcome instead?