For the first time since he was still a teenager, Cesc Fabregas is leaving his comfort zone.
The 31-year-old midfielder finally completed his transfer to AS Monaco on Friday, signing a three-and-a-half year contract at the Ligue 1 club to play for his former teammate, Thierry Henry. Despite Fabregas’ struggles to get on the field for Chelsea this season, he’ll likely step right into the first team once he’s determined to be match fit.
Fabregas leaves the Premier League with a great legacy. He spent 12.5 years as a first team player, first as a star attacking and then central midfielder for Arsenal and then most recently, as a midfield maestro in the double pivot for Chelsea. He won two Premier League titles with the Blues and won an FA Cup at each club.
However, the one major title he’s missing is the UEFA Champions League, in which he made the final with Arsenal in 2006. When he moved to Barcelona, it was just Barcelona were on the way down from their peak between 2007-2009. With the move to Monaco, perhaps Fabregas has realized that Champions League title is out of reach.
In the meantime, Fabregas’ job is going to be to mentor some of these young midfielders who have raw talent but lack the experience in playing under the bright lights. Fabregas will be asked to help Monaco avoid relegation. Monaco is currently in 19th place with just 16 points from 18 games. It’s been a rough run for Henry, but he’s hoping that Fabregas and other January signings can turn the club’s fortunes around.