Cesc Fabregas has admitted it was sad leaving the Premier League for a second time as he looks forward to helping his old mentor, Thierry Henry turn around the fortunes of Monaco.
The 31-year-old who has also played for Barcelona moved to the Stade Louis II on a three-and-a-half-year deal for a reported fee of 10 million euros ($11.5 million), having fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge under new Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri.
Fabregas has teamed up again with Henry, the France great with whom he played at Arsenal at the start of his career and who became coach of Monaco in October.
“Thierry helped me a lot when I was young. He is one of the best players I have played with. This is a huge challenge. I am here to help him but also to help the club,” he added, with Monaco currently languishing in the Ligue 1 relegation zone.
The club are not in a good position. We are in a negative moment but we can turn it around. The objective is to save the team and go far in the Cup to try to get into Europe next season. Everyone is looking at the challenge in a positive way.”
Fabregas was speaking after being presented along with Monaco’s other January signings: Brazilian defender Naldo and full-back Fode Ballo-Toure as well as midfielder William Vainqueur, who has joined on loan from Antalyaspor.
None of the quartet was eligible to play in Wednesday evening’s derby between Monaco and Nice, when Henry was due to go up against his old friend Patrick Vieira, another Arsenal great who is now the Nice coach.