What did Wenger tell Fabregas that made him sign for Arsenal in 2003?

Cesc Fabregas has been speaking about the reasons behind his move to Arsenal from Barcelona as a 16-year-old.

When Cesc Fabregas left Arsenal for his boyhood club Barcelona in 2011 it was a moment that Arsenal fans had feared, expected and dreaded for over a year.

It was always clear that the Spaniard was one day destined to play first-team football in the Barca side and this was the chance for him to finally make his mark at the club.

He has done just that, making the mark when needs be on a difficult outfit.

But what many people have often quizzed, is why on earth he left Barcelona in the first place.

He left La Masia at the age of 16 to join Arsenal and went on to become a hero for the club - wearing the captains armband and playing with the first-team from a young age.

But why did he make the switch.

Well today he has been speaking about his decision to join Arsenal way back in 2003 - and elaborated on the reasons behind that tough decision:

“I was very young; I did not see myself becoming a professional footballer. Then I seized this opportunity because Wenger told me that I would be training every day with the first team. At Arsenal , I saw that I could have a chance, while in Barcelona it was clear that it would be difficult. Difficult, if not more. And then I returned to Barcelona, ​​while I was in a club where I was the captain, and where all the balls were passed by me, where I could be free in the field...”

Wenger certainly went through with this promise. Fabregas became a feature of the Arsenal first-team from an early stage - making his debut at aged 16 years and 177 days before going on to become the captain and star player in North London.

Who knows what would have happened had he have stayed with Barca - he would probably still have been in the Barca first-team now.

But it shows Wenger certainly spotted a talent in Fabregas that Arsenal fans must hope he has not lost - as they continue to bring in talented players.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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