Former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has revealed just how highly he thinks of Arsene Wenger, both as a manager and a man.
The Spaniard spent a significant period of his career with the French tactician, joining Arsenal in 2003 before leaving in 2011 to re-join Barcelona.
Wenger undoubtedly played a fundamental role in helping develop and improve Fabregas as an all-round player, helping him mature into the world-class operator that he still is today for both club and country.
In turn, despite now playing for Chelsea and going up against his former boss, it doesn’t stop Fabregas from sharing his gratitude and close bond with Wenger, as he still clearly loves him for what he did for his career both on and off the pitch.
“I love Arsene, the man,” he told Sky Sports. “I love him of course as a coach too. This is a decision he made [not to re-sign him in 2014]. I always said that he’s like a father to me, and he will always be.”
Some Arsenal fans will have been left angered by their former captain’s decision to join Chelsea in 2014, but as he explains in the same interview, the Gunners had the first option to sign him but didn’t and so Jose Mourinho convinced the midfielder to move to Stamford Bridge.
While he’ll be plotting Arsenal’s downfall again on Saturday when Wenger heads to west London, it’s clear that regardless of his reception from the away supporters and when he goes back to the Emirates from some sections of the crowd, Fabregas will always respect and admire Wenger and rightly so after such a crucial period of time working together.