Cesc Fabregas was made in the Premier League, and after three years away from the English top flight he is back.
The Spain international midfielder joined Chelsea from Barcelona for a reported transfer fee of £30 million in June. Fabregas was on the books of Arsenal from 2003 until 2011 before returning to his old club Barca.
It was with the Gunners that the 27-year-old made his name, establishing himself as not only one of the best players in England but also in the world.
During his time at Arsenal, the Premier League was widely regarded as the best domestic football league in the world. But three years is a long time in football, so how does Fabregas think the top division in England has changed?
‘The Premier League has changed a little bit since I was first here’, Chelsea’s official website quotes him as saying. ‘I feel technically it has improved.
‘The teams are better organised, the balance is much better and from tactical point of view they have improved much more than when I was first here. I am happy to see the evolution and I am sure it will be a very difficult league to win.’
The Premier League has indeed become better and more competitive in the last few years. The emergence of Manchester City and their subsequent two titles in the space of just three years has been key in that.
Last season Liverpool regained their old glory – or part of it anyway – and Tottenham Hotspur are also on the up. Then there are Arsenal and Manchester United.
The arrival of technically gifted players such as Mesut Ozil, Erik Lamela and Eden Hazard has also made the Premier League more intriguing to watch.