Fabregas desperate to prove Wenger wrong
Published 25/04/2015 | 02:30
You wonder if Arsene Wenger regrets his decision not to bring Cesc Fabregas back to Arsenal.
You wonder if he looks at the value Chelsea got with their £30m investment and questions whether he should have swallowed his pride and taken up the option of signing back his former captain.
You wonder if Chelsea would have been so impressive this season without their chief playmaker, the guy who has 16 assists and three goals to his name.
Would Diego Costa have enjoyed as good a season without Fabregas there to supply him with the chances? Would Chelsea be so far clear at the top had he ended up in north London rather than south of the Thames?
And then you think about Wenger's record as a manager and perhaps he got this right. Perhaps he knows Fabregas better than we do.
Perhaps he believes the Spaniard would not have been motivated in returning to his former club. Perhaps the right thing was to wave away that option to buy Fabregas back.
When he left in 2011, he must have also left a sour taste.
Why else would Wenger say: "The regret I have is that he wanted to leave here. This club and myself had a very positive influence on Cesc's life, so I would be a bit uncomfortable to have to justify today why he is not here."
And that appears the bottom line. Some players should never go back. Wenger did bring Thierry Henry back as a loan signing but he never went after Nicolas Anelka even though he could have bought him a second time.
My own experience as a player was different. I left Liverpool in 1987 but couldn't wait to return a year later. We don't know if Fabregas felt the same way about Arsenal.
What we do know is that he will be determined to prove them wrong this weekend. He will be quietly hurt by the fact they never bought him last summer.
Even though Chelsea are first and on their way to the title, a player has his pride. Wenger, deliberately or not, hurt Fabregas' pride. That alone will make his performance tomorrow one to watch.