Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Cesc still Fab, insists Denilson

Denilson maintains there is no rift with his “great friend” Cesc Fabregas and moved to clarify his statements about Arsenal's leadership on the pitch.

In an interview with Brazilian television, the 22-year-old revealed he felt the Gunners “lack leadership”, claiming “Fabregas is the captain, but he is not a leader to me”.

Spain World Cup winner Fabregas yesterday insisted there was no disharmony within the Arsenal camp, and posted a photo of the duo smiling, giving the thumbs up, on Twitter as they travelled by train to Leeds for last night’s FA Cup third-round replay.

Denilson featured again at Elland Road last night, as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger rotated his squad.

The midfielder yesterday released a statement via Rio-based communications agency ‘Fair Play' to clarify his position.

“Fabregas is a great friend. When I said the team had no leadership it was to point out that Arsenal have a very young squad and sometimes lack a more experienced person, as it had for many years with Gilberto Silva for example,” said Denilson.

“I am a shy person, I do not like controversy and problems.

“I was misquoted. I have talked with Fabregas and everything is resolved.

“We are fighting for the English title and it will not take away our focus.”

Fabregas had also played down the episode.

On his official Twitter page, Fabregas wrote: “Abt what Deni said. I've been in his situation before, just a misunderstanding. Now lets win tonite!”

Brazilian Denilson gave away a penalty to Leeds in the first cup match 10 days ago.

Fabregas kept the Gunners in the competition with a last-minute spot-kick of his own, and afterwards had given Denilson a dressing down for making such a clumsy challenge.

“They scored from a penalty that, at this stage when you are a professional footballer, you can not give away so easily,” Fabregas said in his post-match TV interview.

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