Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Wenger tips Cesc for Euro 2008 stardom

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has tipped Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas to impress as much in this month's European Championships as he has in the Premier League over the last few seasons.

The Frenchman has been amazed by how the slightly-built Fabregas manages to get the better of his more robust and muscular counterparts.

“His intention is always to play football, and that is fantastic to see at a young age,” said Wenger.

“I see him every day, and he has a great understanding of the game.

“I like it that in a period where football is going more towards the athletes only, as long as you have the quality, you don't have to run 100 metres in 10 seconds.

“Intelligence still means a lot – and in the modern game where everyone is quick and strong, it's good that players of average size can still play at the top level and be the best players.”

Aside from the 21-year-old Fabregas, Wenger expects Germany forward Mario Gomez, France striker Karim Benzema and Croatia playmaker Luka Modric to achieve breakthrough tournaments in Austria and Switzerland.

“What has changed in these major tournaments is that you don't really discover players any more,” added Wenger, who admits he has come to the Euros “with my chequebook”.

“You expect (Cristiano) Ronaldo and Thierry Henry to be up there – but I am now looking at younger players like Gomez, Benzema and Modric.

“Apart from all the stars we know, these could be the three players who will be interesting to watch and maybe see overall if they can perform physically and stand out.”

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