Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas admits he will remain committed to his new team Chelsea, but maintains he will always hold Arsenal close to his heart.
The 27-year-old joined the ‘Blues’ this summer in a £28m move, after his former club Arsenal opted not to activate a buy-back clause inserted in his previous contract with Barcelona, when he switched from North London.
“Don’t think I didn’t think about it (playing for Arsenal’s rivals when I decided to join Chelsea). I will keep the Gunner feeling forever and I know that I will return to Highbury (Emirates Stadium) and (it) will be a special moment, but I am a committed guy,” Fabregas said in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais.
The La Masia academy product joined the ‘Gunners’ in 2003 and won the 2005 FA Cup as well as claiming a runners-up medal in the 2005/06 Champions League, after losing to his childhood club Barcelona in Paris.
He returned to the Nou Camp in August 2011 and won the Spanish La Liga, a Copa del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup during his three-year spell back in Spain, before sealing a return to the English Premier League with Chelsea this summer.
“I remind you that I played the Champions League final against Barcelona (with Arsenal) and I swear I would have done anything to win that game – and I have been a Barcelona fan since I was a kid. So I know that when I play against Arsenal I will know who is my (current) team, who are my colleagues and who I defend. And I know that the Arsenal fans will understand me, I have no doubt,” Fabregas noted.
He added: “If you’d told me five years ago that I would play for Chelsea and Mourinho I would not have believed you, but life changes. I started to think about leaving Barcelona after the Copa del Rey final. It was when I started to think that it had finished, that there was a change or that I didn’t want to continue.”
“I spoke with my agent and asked him to find me a new team, and an offer from Chelsea arrived. For me it was coming back to London, where I grew (up). There was no better way out. I spoke with Mourinho and he told me the things I needed to hear. I felt valued. I felt I was going to be important in an important project.”