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Sports Meet the man who helped bring Fabregas and Martinelli to Arsenal – and tried to land Messi

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Cesc Fabregas signed for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in 2003He is the scout who helped bring players such as Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Gabriel Martinelli to Arsenal - and also tried to land Lionel Messi.But after 24 years of service, the club's former head of recruitment Francis Cagigao left by mutual agreement in August.As…
Sports Meet the man who helped bring Fabregas and Martinelli to Arsenal – and tried to land Messi

Sports

sports Cesc Fabregas and Arsene Wenger while at Arsenal
Cesc Fabregas signed for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in 2003

He is the scout who helped bring gamers equivalent to Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Gabriel Martinelli to Arsenal – and furthermore tried to land Lionel Messi.

However after 24 years of provider, the membership’s extinct head of recruitment Francis Cagigao left by mutual settlement in August.

As he weighs up his choices sooner than deciding his subsequent pass, London-born Cagigao, 51, spoke to BBC Radio 5 Are residing’s European soccer professional Guillem Balagueexternal-hyperlink about his time at Arsenal, the art of figuring out skill, and good how shut the membership came to signing Argentina and Barcelona icon Messi.

Fabregas, Martinelli and a ‘odor for the game’

Confirmation of Cagigao’s departure from Arsenal triggered a touching tribute from extinct Gunners captain Fabregas, indubitably one of totally different talented young of us he delivered to the membership.

Fabregas, who beforehand tweetedexternal-hyperlink ‘Francis Cagigao strikes again and again. Memoir’ after two of his discoveries – Hector Bellerin and Martinelli – struck in opposition to Chelsea in January, stated: “Nothing would hold been the identical for me must you didn’t assign me at 15 years frail. Your subsequent crew shall be very fortunate to hold your soccer brain.”

On signing a young Fabregas – who grew to become the membership’s youngest participant mature 16 years and 177 days in October 2003 – from Barcelona, Cagigao stated: “I will no longer remember any other case on the time of this kind of young participant joining us from this kind of mammoth membership.

sports Martinelli, 19, scored 10 times in his breakthrough season for Arsenal last term
Martinelli, 19, scored 10 times in his step forward season for Arsenal closing term

“He used to be playing in the finest below-16s side I’ve considered till this day. He needed to reach aid to London by himself. I knew it used to be going to be tricky however the maturity he showed used to be outstanding.

“Arsene used to name it that odor for the game – that odor for one thing special. Needless to claim, or no longer you’ll must quantify it and measure it. You would possibly perhaps presumably well divulge that in a quick time of someone like Fabregas, for his intelligence, his awareness, for his soccer brain.

“It wasn’t one thing you would possibly perhaps presumably well in overall stare in a 15, 16-year-frail – and in somebody like Martinelli for entirely diversified causes. You perform sense there is one thing diversified in the make-up of those gamers. You would possibly perhaps presumably well stare one thing special, sometimes you would possibly perhaps presumably well now not absolutely quantify it but one thing is there and likewise you grab a gamble.”

Chasing Messi – ‘discussions took region’

It would hold been the signing of the century for Arsenal – but good how shut did Arsenal truly arrive to landing Messi?

Messi wasn’t the one real Barcelona myth that will hold arrived in north London around that time both, with defender Gerard Pique even closer to signing a address the Gunners – sooner than in its assign heading to Manchester United.

“I judge Arsene stated while manager that we were shut to signing Messi [in 2003]. I wouldn’t breeze thus a ways as asserting we were shut. We were there or thereabouts and discussions took region along with his representatives. He had factors with a work enable, so that used to be discarded,” stated Cagigao.

“It be public records that Pique came inches away from signing a contract with us and signed for Manchester United six months later. The finest ingredient I will divulge is there used to be some contractual difference between the membership and Gerard’s representatives on the time and it didn’t breeze forward on tale of those.”

‘Cazorla is indubitably one of primarily the most talented I’ve considered’

In August 2012, Arsenal signed Spain playmaker Santi Cazorla from Malaga.

The attacking midfielder used to be neatly-liked with Arsenal fans but an Achilles ruin sustained in October 2016 threatened his profession and lower his time on the membership quick.

“I judge he is indubitably one of primarily the most talented footballers I’ve ever considered,” Cagigao stated on Cazorla.

“You would possibly perhaps presumably well ogle Cazorla in practicing taking role-pieces along with his left foot and though-provoking foot and no longer know which used to be his stronger. He is in actual fact to take into accounta good figurehead and somebody who young gamers can truly ogle to.

“There were doubts about Santi. Other people would divulge he is so diminutive, he is no longer the quickest, he is no longer uncover, but he has to take into accounta good soccer brain, outstanding methodology and he is a winner. “

‘You would possibly perhaps presumably well no longer hold enough money to be bitter’ – what subsequent for a scout in search data from?

Cagigao used to be “approached by rather numerous clubs” at some level of his time at Arsenal – a duration that represented the immense majority of his working lifestyles.

Now unattached, he is asking forward to his subsequent enlighten following his abrupt departure from the Gunners.

“I didn’t truly feel it used to be though-provoking on the time to pass to any of those clubs,” Cagigao stated.

“Now I’m a free agent I will ogle at those offers with a diversified level of view. I’m indubitably one of those those who finds it tense to swap off so I decide to grab a step aid, maintain after which I shall be keen for the following project.

“You would possibly perhaps presumably well no longer hold enough money to be bitter in lifestyles. It be important to hold a thick pores and skin and glean over issues swiftly. I’m satisfied with my interior most achievements and I truly feel very privileged to hold worked for Arsenal – a membership which gave me so noteworthy and where I used to be in a position to progress. “

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