Arsene Wenger: No logic in re-signing Fabregas
Arsene Wenger has claimed that there was no "logic" in him trying to bring Cesc Fabregas back to Arsenal and that he did not need the midfielder even though the club had first option to bring him back from Barcelona.
Fabregas will return to the Emirates for the first time today since his £35m move to Barcelona in 2011 as he lines up for the champions-elect Chelsea.
The 27-year-old Spaniard, is expected to receive a hostile reception from Arsenal supporters and although Wenger has claimed that Fabregas deserves respect, his relationship with the midfielder is far less friendly than it used to be. Wenger received criticism after Fabregas elected to join Chelsea for £27m but argued that he had no room in for his former captain having signed the likes of Mesut Ozil.
"Congestion," Wenger said. "We have (Alexis) Sanchez and Ozil but also (Jack) Wilshere in this position, (Alex)Oxlade-Chamberlain, (Aaron) Ramsey. All offensive players. When you have to spend £35m to £40m for a position where you already have players, you have to question what is the logic. When a big player goes from your club, everyone says you have to buy another one with the same qualities. Once he has gone, you have brought another one with the same qualities, he wants to come back and it is not obvious to spend so much on a position that is exactly the same. Where does Cesc play today? Behind the striker. Where does Ozil play? Behind the striker."
The contribution of Ozil, a £42m signing from Real Madrid, has been under scrutiny but Wenger insisted the German international was making a significant difference as his team attempt to close the gap on the league leaders. "People questioned Ozil - a player that is the centre of our game and also makes other people play," Wenger said. "The real players are those who take the qualities of their partners, Ozil is one like that."
It is likely to prove an awkward afternoon for Fabregas who, along with Wenger, attempted to negotiate a careful line as to why he left Arsenal after eight years at the club, and whether he would ever return.
More than once, Wenger suggested he expected Fabregas to return to and maybe even finish his career there and while the player and his representatives want it known that Arsenal did not come back in for him, the manager has a different spin on that as well.
Wenger has called the deal for Fabregas to return as not "clean" - suggesting he had already agreed terms with Chelsea and there was no point in Arsenal trying to sign him. Given that Chelsea are set to add the Premier League title to the Capital One Cup they have already won then Fabregas will already feel vindicated.