One of the most gifted passers of the ball combined with one of the most fluid teams in modern Premier League history – a match made in heaven.
La Masia graduate Cesc Fabregas arrived on English soil in 2003 to join up with some of the most gifted pioneers of the modern game in Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp.
Sprinkling bits of continental magic one pass at a time, he helped shape the style and form of the Premier League for years to come. The uncompromising desire for total, liquid football that, if anything, was a little overzealous at times.
The Spaniard spent eight illustrious years at the club in which he accumulated 59 goals and an impressive 92 assists in 306 appearances.
As the starters of old started dropping, he became the focal point of every positive movement going through the club – a fusion of all the talents he spent time with.
A lack of trophies ultimately saw Fabregas’ time cut short in London and his former employers Barcelona were there to pounce. Home of tiki-taka football, Lionel Messi and Xavi and Iniesta, it is not hard to see why Fabregas opted to return to his homeland to continue his football.
Adding another 42 goals and 51 assists to his already attractive CV certainly did not harm his reputation, nor did the La Liga title and Copa Del Rey he won.
But it seems success does not guarantee happiness and amidst rumours of unrest, Chelsea successfully brought the player back to London to continue his career. It was a pleasure to see the Spanish playmaker back at his best in England, effortlessly gliding around the middle of the pitch to create chances out of nothing. To watch him play was entertainment in itself – a glimpse into the mind of an artist.
A record breaker for the fastest time to achieve 100 Premier League assists, taking only 293 games.
For all his qualities though, Sarri preferred Jorginiho, a man who has scarcely produced even a smidgen of what Fabregas was capable of, and he was ultimately sold to Ligue 1 strugglers Monaco.
And France is where Fabregas could well end his career.
Monaco have suffered an utterly astonishing fall from grace since their domestic title just a couple of years ago and are in serious danger of suffering relegation, and we dare say that without the introduction of the experienced Fabregas in midfield, their current position could have been far worse.
Which is exactly why they will need to keep him on the foreseeable future – solidity and experience.
One of the greatest, no doubt.