Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has revealed that the lack of quality within the Gunners’ squad was a key reason behind him leaving the club, adding that he felt only Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri were up to the standard required.
The Spaniard left the Emirates Stadium back in August 2011, joining La Liga heavyweights Barcelona for an initial fee of €29million.
But his time in Spain failed to work out how he had hoped for and he returned to the Premier League just three years later, signing for Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea.
Now, almost nine years after he left the Emirates Stadium, the AS Monaco midfielder has opened up on what made him secure a move away from the Gunners.
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Speaking on the Arsecast podcast, Fabregas said: “I was the captain, I always felt so much pressure on myself.
“I had to lead this team to win something. I gave everything.
“Sometimes, I used to go home after we lost and I used to cry, I used to suffer, I used to spend sleepless nights suffering.
“And then you lose a game, you’re in the bus like this destroyed and then you hear some players laughing, thinking about where they will be going out later. This was going on for a few years.
“Yeah, we were playing beautiful football and I enjoyed that side of things but I was putting pressure on myself to lead, to do everything and at one point I felt kind of lonely.
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“Especially in the last two or three years, I felt Robin and Samir were the only players – it’s not an arrogant thing to say, it’s how I felt at that time – I felt they were the players who were at my level mentally and technically.”
After Fabregas departed the Emirates in August 2011, Nasri followed suit just over a week later, joining Premier League rivals Manchester City.
And Arsenal were to lose the final member of this trio exactly one year later as van Persie made the switch to Old Trafford, joining Manchester United.