After a summer of speculation regarding his future, Arsenal star Cesc Fabragas showed that he was truly up for the Gunners cause, as he netted twice and set up another two in what was a comfortable 6-0 over Braga in their opening game of the Champions League.
While being at the tender age of only 23, Fabregas has made almost 200 appearances for the North London side since he was given his debut by manager Arsene Wenger in 2003. This quick rise to stardom has also seen the Spanish international take the captain’s armband, proving that despite being of a very young age, Fabregas’ presence and technical brilliance are attributes which command respect from his fellow team mates.
It would seem that the former Barcelona youngster is set to have a long and fruitful career at the Emirates and, although Fabregas will most definitely be seen as one of the Arsenal all time greats as his Gunners career goe’s on, is he already considered one of the best?
‘Fab’ has shown great maturity for his age, not only on the field but off it and recent performances, particularly that against Braga last night, has shown that he is very much the key man in the Arsenal starting line up, who will play a starring role in this campaign if the Emirates club are able to achieve domestic and European success this year.
However, while it is a strong point of discussion as to whether Fabregas is already the greatest Arsenal player ever at his young age, which players would he have to knock off the top spot if he was to achieve this feat?
Thierry Henry – Although the Frenchman left Arsenal a number of seasons ago, his majestic performances and wonder goals are still talked about but Premier League fans up and down the country on a daily basis, scoring 226 goals for the club. With the all time top scorer awards both for his club and for the Premier League under his belt, Henry’s place as one of the leagues all time greats is firmly set in stone and for me personally he would be the man who Fabregas must take the crown off if he is to become Arsenal’s best ever.
Dennis Bergkamp – Dennis Bergkamp made headlines instantly upon his arrival to North London. Not only was he the first big foreign player to arrive in England following the lifting of the Heysel ban in 1990, Bergkamp was also influential in helping life Arsenal out of the rut which they had seemingly built themselves in during the 90’s.
The Dutchman’s technical brilliance made him an instant fan favourite dazzling both fans and defenders as he scored wonder goal after wonder goal, in particular a great goal against Newcastle which will be considered one of the best goals ever.
Bergkamp has recently taken control of the Netherlands B team and it would be no surprise to fans at the Emirates if Bergkamp found himself in charge of the Gunners one day.
Patrick Vieira – Was a commanding force in the centre of midfield as Arsenal enjoyed their best ever spell from 1996-2005 which saw them achieve a miraculous feat of going unbeaten during the 2003/2004 season.
Although the now Manchester City midfielder didn’t have the best disciplinary record during his time in North London, there is no doubt that the 34 year old gave his all to the Arsenal cause each and every game, becoming a house hold name with fans of world football and a firm fan favourite with the Gunner fans.
Liam Brady – The former Irish international didn’t achieve the dizzy heights which the likes of Henry, Bergkamp and Viera achieved in winning countless domestic trophies, but the 54 year old shone during the 70’s in an Arsenal team which struggled in the league, battling relegation on numerous occasions. Brady will be most remembered for his wonder goal in 1978 in a 5-0 victory over rivals Tottenham, a match, moment and player which will live on for a long time in the hearts and minds of Arsenal fans.
Ian Wright – Ian Wright is definitely one of the fan favourites at Arsenal, scoring 185 goals for the Gunners, an achievement which has only been surpassed by Thierry Henry in recent times. Despite making a late start to his professional career at the age of 22, Wright is considered one of the best English strikers of all time and although he may not have reached the heights in performances for his national side, his goals and outgoing personality will see ‘Wrighty’ remembered as a striker of the highest calibre.
Well those are just a few of the Arsenal greats who Fabregas will have to out perform is he is to become Arsenal’s greatest ever player and many fans will be hoping he can take a giant step towards that goal this season, helping the North London side secure their first piece of silverware for five years.
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