Fabregas hails Walcott

Fabregas said: “If I had to choose two players, it would be Theo and Lionel Messi. For me they are the two best players I have seen at 16 or 17.

“I was surprised how good Theo was because I had never heard of him as I do not follow the [Coca-Cola] Championship.

“But when he came to Arsenal, you could see he has the quality.”

He added: “Theo is showing everyone that he is a great player.

“I know from my own experience it takes time when you are young, and in England their own young players are under pressure – but he is able to handle it, like [Wayne] Rooney, and that is why he is so good.

“Sometimes the manager uses him sparingly so people do not have a go at him, and he will play for Arsenal many times I am sure.”