By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger believes the “real” Cesc Fabregas will be back next season.

The Arsenal captain saw his season cruelly interrupted by a medial knee ligament injury just before Christmas that kept him out for almost four months.

Before he sustained the problem, Fabregas had started the season quite brightly with a goal and four assists in his 15 appearances.

But although the Spaniard returned with yet more assists and a brilliant brace against Middlesbrough, Wenger thinks his skipper will be even better after the summer.

“You will see the real Cesc Fabregas next season,” the manager said at Thursday’s pre-match press conference.

“He’s not completely [back to his best] yet. That is natural when a player has been out for three months. It takes him some time to come back completely.

“He is a player who cares about results and nobody comes back 100 per cent. You cannot care and not be affected.

“I believe he has been very strong mentally, resolute and determined. He has given as much as he can. He is the new captain and has learned his job.

“You will see Fabregas in good form next season.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 May 2009