Cesc Fabregas had “extraordinary” focus at a young age that helped him become an instant success when he joined Arsenal, according to Francis Cagigao, the scout who discovered him.
Fabregas left Barcelona for Arsenal as a teenager, linking up with the Gunners’ academy and then quickly making the step up into the club’s first-team for the start of the 2004/05 season.
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The rest, as they say, is history, with the Spaniard going on to become one of the finest midfielders in Premier League history, later going on to enjoy success back at Barcelona and in a second spell in England with Chelsea.
His breakthrough at Arsenal was particularly exciting, however, as he became a regular in Arsene Wenger’s side when he was only 17 years of age, and never looked out of place alongside club legends such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira.
Former Arsenal scout Cagigao played a key role in bringing Fabregas to north London from Barca, but he also insists the player’s mentality was key to the fact that he made such an instant impact.
“People say we discovered Cesc. But he was already at Barcelona. We arrived at the right time because there was nothing to say Cesc was going to be what he was,” Cagigao told Goal.
“Maybe we were fortunate that their [Barcelona’s] internal identification hadn’t worked as well as they would have liked it to and as well as it did years later, so we were able to acquire what was one and nearly three exceptional footballers.
“Cesc was very sold on the idea, he saw that we believed in him and that we set out a project and a guideline for him. We mapped a path for him that within a few years he would get to the first team, obviously then it accelerated because the boy was exceptional and he settled in so quickly and his focus from a very young age was extraordinary.”