Arsenal scouts urged Arsene Wenger to sign Juan Mata as Cesc Fabregas’ replacement

Cesc Fabregas pushed to leave Arsenal in the summer of 2011
Cesc Fabregas pushed to leave Arsenal in the summer of 2011 (AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s top scout urged Arsene Wenger to sign Juan Mata as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas, according to reports.

The Gunners suffered a huge blow to their squad in the summer of 2011 as both Fabregas and Samir Nasri left the club.

Fabregas was sold to Barcelona in a £35 million deal, while Nasri joined Manchester City for around £25m.

According to The Athletic, Arsenal’s chief scout Francis Cagigao and the club’s recruitment team urged Wenger to sign ‘like-for-like replacements’.

Cagigao recommended that Arsenal sign Mata and Santi Cazorla to compensate for the departures of Fabregas and Nasri.

But Arsenal could not get the deals over the line as Mata moved to Chelsea for £23.5m, while Cazorla joined Malaga.

Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both left Arsenal in the summer of 2011
Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both left Arsenal in the summer of 2011 (AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal scouts wanted both Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla to join the club
Arsenal scouts wanted both Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla to join the club (Getty Images)

Cazorla, who had been monitored by Cagigao for over 10 years, ended up signing for Arsenal 12 months later.

But Mata escaped the Gunners as he made the surprise switch from Chelsea to Manchester United for £37.1m in January 2014.

Meanwhile, Fabregas admitted in an interview last month that he regrets pushing Wenger in his attempt to leave Arsenal in 2011.

‘The only thing that kills me in a way is that I had to be so pushy with Arsene, Fabregas told Arseblog.

‘The guy gave me absolutely everything. The guy who had confidence in me to play me at 16 years old.

‘The one that made me start big games at 17, [he’s] the guy who made me have my debut for Spain, because without him Luis Aragones wouldn’t have taken me. Going to a World Cup at 19.

‘I owe everything to him, all my career, I know that. After I had to work for it, and I think I worked very hard to earn his trust and it was up to me many times to prove him right.

‘But that is one of those things I don’t feel well with it because I pushed my move in 2011. I did things I’m not proud of.

‘But if I didn’t do it it would’ve never happened. And it had to happened at that moment. I couldn’t have another year of “yeah, we played well, next year”.’

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