Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has named four Arsenal players he likes ahead of Thursday’s London derby.
Arsenal is currently fourth on the Premier League table and a win today will seal their spot in next year’s Champions League. A competition that the Gunners had participated in since 2017.
Cesc Fabregas played for Arsenal from 2003 to 2011 making 212 appearances and scoring 35 in the process.
He made his senior debut for the Gunners at the age of 16 years against Rotherham United in the League Cup at the Highbury. He became Arsenal captain at the age of 21.
The 35-year Spanish international has named forwards Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli and attacking midfielders Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe as his favorites.
What was said?
Speaking in an interview with LondonWorld he said:‘There is three or four [players] that I really like. I sometimes feel like I’m watching myself when I first start out.
‘You have the likes of Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, Smith Rowe… it’s great to see.
‘Even [Eddie] Nketiah recently who has been scoring goals. Their recent performances will give them confidence.’
Cesc Fabregas was full of praise for the Arsenal youngsters as he saw himself in them.
He added:‘Every young player needs some time to adapt to the real highest level of football and Arsenal are giving opportunities to them.’
‘This will give a lot of value to the squad not only economically, but also football-wise. Hopefully, in a few years, we can see the results of it.’
Meanwhile,Cesc Fabregas has showered praise on the Arsenal board for giving Mikel Arteta time to express himself.
‘I’m glad that he’s had the time to express himself,’ Fabregas told London World.
‘He arrived at a delicate moment and it would’ve been really easy in certain moments to just cast him aside and try something else, go for someone more experienced.
‘I’m happy they’ve given him the time and I know Edu has been key on that.
‘He knows himself, being the top player that he was, that for certain projects you need time, you need to find the right players, find a system that’s suitable for the players you have.’
On Arteta’s style play, Fabregas added: “There’s a lot of tactical analysis, a ‘gegenpressing’ style, a lot of new methodologies both physically and tactically.
‘I feel that he doesn’t get too attached to certain players. The team comes first and whoever is performing better at the time will play.
‘Before, the best players always played. If they were half injured, they’d rush them back. Now? No.
‘These days whoever is better physically, in better form, will play. He’s been able to change formations, try players in different positions, and he’s found his team. Now you can see the results. Well done to him.’
Fabregas has also given Mikel Arteta tips on how to beat Antonio Conte in the London derby.
He said:‘I’m sure Mikel analyses the opponent very well, but Arsenal will need a lot of intensity if they’re going to win this game,’ the ex-Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder.
‘I know exactly how Antonio works, I know this methodology very well.
‘If I was a coach, I could get by with all that he showed me in the two years I worked with him. Spurs are very well structured, they use the wing-backs very high.
‘They are intense and, a little bit like Arsenal, they try to build up from the back to draw the opponent out.