Barcelona have tried to justify their sale of Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea by claiming that his performances deteriorated over the years.
On Thursday, it was announced that the two clubs have reached an agreement over the transfer of the Spain international. Fabregas himself released an open letter on the Catalan giants’ official website thanking them for “three wonderful years”.
However, there was an unusual statement from Barcelona. In an article on the Catalan and the Spanish editions of their website outlining the three years of Fabregas at Camp Nou, there were a few sentences that were very critical of the 27-year-old.
'Despite glowing starts to each campaign, Cesc’s contributions to the cause gradually decreased as each season drew to a close’, it read.
‘From being someone who joined in with the attack, supplying and scoring goals, the magic tended to fade later on in each season. He only scored one, six and one goals in the last 24 games of each season’.
Interestingly, these sentences were not mentioned anywhere on the English edition of their website. So by taking this parting shot at Fabregas on editions that are meant to be read by people speaking Catalan or Spanish (or, in other words, Barcelona supporters living in Spain), are the club justifying their sale of Fabregas to their own fans?
It surely seems that way. It is not usual for a club to take a dig at their departing players, and for a massive institution like Barcelona, it simply does not feel right, especially how they tried all means to sign Fabregas from Arsenal in the summer of 2011.
The Gunners fans will remember how for months transfer speculation did not stop, and how Fabregas never really did anything concrete to deny reports that he wanted to move to Barcelona. And now the club he calls ‘home’ does not want him anymore. What goes around comes around? Maybe.
Fabregas was not a flop at Camp Nou, but he was neither a big hit – he scored 42 goals in 151 appearances, won 106 games, drew 29 and lost 16, and clinched six titles.
The former Arsenal captain played under four different managers during his time in the Catalan capital (Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova, Jordi Roura and Gerardo Martino) and was deployed in various positions in midfield.
Competition for places was fierce and Fabregas failed to live up to the expectations of the Barca fans. And now he is on his way back to the Premier League.