Undeniably the jewel in Arsenal's crown, much rests on the shoulders of the young Catalan. Since the sale of Patrick Vieira in 2005, Arsène Wenger has made Fabregas the linchpin of his new Arsenal side and despite the pressure heaped upon him, 'Cesc' has risen admirably to the challenge.
Adding goals to an ever-impressive passing game, in 2007/08 he finally looked to make the step up from being merely a talented youngster, to become the beating heart of a vibrant Arsenal side. Playing in the middle, he seems to have a calmness and serenity about his game, finding space almost effortlessly, and a smooth passing rhythm around which any coach would love to build a team.
Superb performances over the summer in Spain's victorious Euro 2008 side will have only increased his confidence, and as good as he may be now, it seems that the ceiling of his potential is still quite some way off. 2008/09 will see him try to focus on improving his consistency over the course of the entire season, and work further on his goalscoring, whilst Arsène Wenger must ensure that he provides him sufficient rest to avoid the burnout that has afflicted many young stars who have peaked too early.
It will be interesting to see how he gels with a new partner beside him, and whether or not he'll miss the tenacious, dynamic Mathieu Flamini, now of AC Milan.
Fabregas was sold to Barcelona in 2011.
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