Michael Carrick has revealed how Cesc Fabregas’ performance in the 2004 Community Shield prevented a move to Arsenal, according to the player’s new autobiography.
Following the departure of Patrick Vieira, the Gunners were on the hunt for a new midfielder which led to Carrick meeting Arsene Wenger to discuss him being the player to replace the Frenchman.
However, Arsenal eventually opted against the move following Fabregas’ scintillating display against Manchester United to win the Community Shield.
Carrick: “It seemed nailed on that I’d be an Arsenal player”
Carrick has revealed that joining Arsenal “seemed nailed on” until a 17-year-old Fabregas played a blinder for the North London club at the Millenium Stadium.
The former Manchester United player was looking to move back to the Premier League and had numerous clubs attempting to gain his signature.
Arsenal made a late effort to sign him and attempted to hijack Harry Redknapp’s move with Portsmouth.
“On the way home (from Portsmouth medical), we got another call. Arsenal again, asking us to meet Arsène.
“Within an hour I was sitting in the front room of Arsène Wenger’s house, pinching myself.
“Could this really be happening? Arsenal!
“I almost felt guilty over how calmly Harry (Redknapp) took it. He knew the attraction of Arsenal.
“Arriving at Chadwell Heath on the Saturday, I was thrilled to hear that Dein and Terry Brown had already spoken about a fee.
“Wow! I was moving from the First Division to a team in the Champions League.
“I’d heard [Patrick] Vieira was leaving Arsenal and that opened up a space in midfield.
“So it seemed nailed on that Monday morning I’d be an Arsenal player.”
Geiss to Carrick: “Sorry, the deal’s off”
Carrick recalls watching the 2004 Community Shield and spotting a young Fabregas making a huge impression.
Making nothing of the Spaniard’s performance, Carrick awaited the call the following day to move to Highbury.
However, Fabregas’ perfomance was significant enough to convince Wenger against moving for Carrick.
“I saw that a kid, Cesc Fàbregas, only 17, started in Vieira’s place.
“Fàbregas played a blinder but I didn’t think too much about the significance.
“I sat at home on Sunday night waiting for the call to arrange details of the next day. Arsenal! I couldn’t wait.
“But I waited, and waited, and that call never came.
“The next day, I had to go into training at West Ham instead.
“David relayed the gist of his message, like, ‘I’m sorry, the manager says we don’t need Michael. Fàbregas is coming through like he is. Sorry, the deal’s off.’
“Fàbregas’s performance changed Wenger’s mind about needing me.”
Later that summer, Carrick joined North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
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