A player who is often left out of the great Premier League midfielder debates, maybe because he’s not English? I don’t know for sure but one thing I do know is, he absolutely should be in these discussions, he became captain aged 20, he won almost everything there is to win the game and most important for me, he was able to adapt his game as he got older, I’ve seen him operate in all 3 of the midfield roles (6,8,10) at the highest level. Some might say #16 is too high but when you factor in longevity, ability and success he’s well worthy!
As usual these disclaimers will be disclosed weekly, so please take note of them before reading.
- The list mostly includes players from the 2000s & 2010s, with the exception of one or two. I did not think I could fairly compare players from the 90s that I’ve only watched on Youtube or read about.
- I wanted to include at least one player from every position, so there’s a good variety of players and not just forwards or midfielders.
- There is a difference between ‘best’ & ‘greatest’. Example: Wayne Rooney is in my opinion, the best player to ever play for Everton but he’s not their greatest ever player.
Please keep these disclaimers in mind! If you missed the previous 9 entrants please find them below.
A quote like this is why the name Cesc Fabregas leaves a sour taste in the mouths of some Arsenal fans. He was their starboy, he burst onto the scene aged 16. Even though he was from Barcelona, he felt like one of their own. This is the guy who took over the mantle from Patrick Viera. He was supposed to become one of their greatest legends ever. In his early Arsenal days he ran the midfield in a box to box before beginning to become more of a goal threat further up the field, scoring famous goals like the strike away to Milan in the San Siro, or his goal at the Emirates in the NLD. Unfortunately for Arsenal he fell victim to Barcelona’s disgusting transfer tactics that many of us know too well.
What a horrible club. Anyways, even the most diehard Arsenal fan could understand him wanting to return to his boyhood club. But it was his return to England in 2014 that still stings to this day for some. He signed for Arsenal’s arch nemesis Chelsea and had arguably the most successful period of his career. While his performances in an Arsenal shirt saw him receive great individual recognition and awards, one can argue when he signed for Chelsea he became even more effective, with more miles on his legs he began to play deeper and deeper and made the deep lying playmaker role his own. This led to more titles and success than he achieved at both Arsenal and Barcelona.
With a number of great domestic and individual trophies won, I would be remised without mentioning he was an integral part of one of the greatest National sides of all time too.
- 2x Premier League Winner
- 2x FA Cup Winner (Arsenal x1, Chelsea x1)
- League Cup winner
- Golden Boy 2006 winner
- PFA TOTY 07/08, 09/10
- PFA YPOTY 07/08
Best Moments & Goals
He was a midfielder who could take a game by the scruff of it’s neck, this was shown no more than with his performance at the San Siro at the age of just 19.
Peak Wengerball, crazy that this was considered a bad period for Arsenal when you compare it to their past two seasons. The likes of Cesc, RVP and Nasri, what a team.
Weight of pass
This was one of the best assists of his career, although the pass was less than 5 yards, the way he managed to kill the pace of the ball and deftly place it in for Schurrle was amazing.
This partnership is the main reason Chelsea won the title in 2014/15, perfect example of when Jose Mourinho gets his men he gets results 👀 . They formed a formidable partnership as Chelsea stormed to the league title.
I’ve seen many conflicting reports about Cesc’s move back to the Premier League, some say Arsene didn’t want him back, others say they couldn’t afford him. I’d love to hear what fans of both Arsenal and Chelsea made of the situation at the time. Ultimately there’s no doubt in my mind that Arsenal should have brought him back, he showed that he’s undoubtedly one of the best midfielders to ever play the game in England, upon his return. A reason I believe as to why he doesn’t get the respect he deserves, is because he began to decline in his 20s, but people need to remember, he was the main man on his team from the age of 17. Playing at that level from such a young age will take its toll and catch up on you eventually. We’ve seen it with Rooney and Michael Owen. Regardless of his decline he still achieved an incredible career, packed full of club and national trophies, the Champions League being the only trophy to allude him, nevertheless a great player who is well deserving of his spot at #16.
Thanks for reading!
We’ll be back next week for number 15, stay tuned and check out our latest posts below.