Cesc Fabregas’s emergence in the mid-2000s coincided with Patrick Vieira’s supposed decline.
When the Frenchman left Arsenal in the summer of 2005, Fabregas stepped up and was being hailed as the ‘next Patrick Vieira’.
In the subsequent years Fabregas was given a more advanced role, and he has since thrived and established himself as one of the best midfielders of all time.
Speaking to the Champions Magazine, the 27-year-old said that it was Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who initially gave him the licence to venture forward and add goals to his game.
‘Arsene Wenger pushed me upfield into the hole in 2009’, he said. ‘From that point I would be in and around the area a lot more, and the goals started flying in.
‘There is nothing quite like scoring a goal. Scoring goals is the most beautiful part of football, but I have always identified myself with and enjoyed providing the final ball.
‘Only the people who know how to play the final pass for a goal know what it feels like, and I feel immense joy when a goal is scored from my pass. Putting the striker through one-on-one with the keeper is enormously satisfying’.
Fabregas is now a complete midfielder. He can score goals, create goals, start attacking moves and do defensive work.
Made at Arsenal, Fabregas’s best years could be at Chelsea.