Cesc Fabregas has named a surprising Premier League club in his trio of favourite teams to watch, because of their similarities to his days at Arsenal.

The Spanish ex-midfielder, 36, became a top-flight legend in England with his time at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, while he also joined Chelsea for a successful five-year stint between 2014 and 2019.

Now as a coach of the under-19s at Italian second-tier side Como, which the World Cup winner is part-owner of, he is making his first steps in the managerial process.

As part of his understanding, he has been watching some of the very best teams in England right now. Fabregas told The Mirror that alongside Manchester City and his former club Arsenal, he has a particular passion for watching Brighton, and learning from the coaching philosophy of Roberto de Zerbi.

Fabregas said: ‘It’s the way they understand the game. They know when to slow it down, when to quicken up when to find the right spaces. They know the right timing of when to attract players and to then accelerate.’

Cesc Fabregas has named the three Premier League clubs he likes watching at the moment

The former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder hailed Roberto De Zerbi’s philosophy at Brighton

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Opposing teams find it tough to deal with Brighton’s high-risk approach, which saw the club finish sixth in the Premier League last season, Manchester United Drakt spurred on by Karou Mitoma and Solly March among others.  

‘How many times do we see them playing short, short, short and then March and Mitoma attacking the spaces and scoring in behind? They understand football in a way I love and believe it should be played,’ Fabregas added. 

He said Brighton’s ‘quick, sharp football’ reminded him of the way Arsenal played when he was starting out under Wenger in north London. He said: ‘If you press them high they will get you in behind, if you press them low they’ll keep playing short and find spaces. It’s very interesting and De Zerbi is someone I’m learning so much from.’

Brighton and perennial title winners Manchester City are the clubs that Fabregas keeps an eye on, alongside Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, with William Saliba one of the pivotal cogs in the potential future success of the Gunners.    

Fabregas said: ‘Arsenal use that 3-1-3-3 formation – which is six players in front of the ball. It’s about the coach trusting their defenders to be quicker, faster and recover the ball. Then they can play a little bit more attacking football.

‘But you could see the difference when Saliba was playing and got injured [last season]. Mikel will tell you himself that it’s not the same way they can play.’

Arsenal are currently second in the Premier League table, behind Tottenham on goal difference, with Man City in third and Brighton in sixth place.  

Fabregas said Brighton’s ‘quick, sharp football’ reminded him of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger

He felt that Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were significantly improved with William Saliba available

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