Arsenal missed a glorious opportunity to link Cesc Fabregas up with Liverpool star Xabi Alonso, with the Spaniard leaving the Premier League for Real Madrid.
Cesc Fabregas has admitted that he was left ‘frustrated’ by Arsenal’s failure to take a golden opportunity to sign Xabi Alonso from Liverpool before the Spanish playmaker headed to Real Madrid in 2009, while speaking on the Arseblog podcast.
Around a decade ago, Alonso was quickly establishing himself as one of the most influential midfielders in European football.
And Fabregas, who at the time was still the Arsenal captain, was desperate to join forces with a fellow Spaniard at the Emirates when it became clear that the Basque-born star had his heart set on leaving Premier League rivals Liverpool.
In the end, however, the Gunners were beaten to the punch by Real Madrid, who paid £30 million to bring Alonso to the Santiago Bernabau.
“He was dying to come. He was literally begging everyone to go to Arsenal, he really wanted to come. And to be honest, I did my best. I spoke to who I had to speak to. I gave my opinion, I thought that he was a fantastic addition for us at that time,” said Fabregas, who is now at Monaco after spell at Chelsea and Barcelona.
“And yeah I have to say that a couple of times like that I was frustrated by the lack of push, the final push – you know what I mean? That it’s so close, the player is dying to come, it’s so easy to make this deal.
“I remember the whole holiday I was talking to him, he was texting me: “What’s happening?” And it was a shame, because I think he would have been a great, great, great addition to that team. He was made for Arsenal, I think.”
While Arsenal would go on to slip away from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and even North London neighbours Tottenham in the years to come, Alonso finished his career with an enviable collection of trophies for both club and country, following up his 2010 World Cup triumph with Champions League, La Liga and Bundesliga crowns.