Friday, December 24, 2010

Cesc Fabregas' Future is at Arsenal and not in Barcelona until Xavi Hernandez Retires

Cesc Fabregas is one of the world's finest play-makers and is the captain and talisman for the Gunners. He is the leader on the pitch and most of Arsenal's attacking play revolves around the talented young Spaniard. He has shown the willingness and determination to be successful for the Gunners and is a huge fan favourite at the Emirates.

He was one of the leading lights of Barcelona's La Masia academy in which he played alongside quality players like Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi. Arsene Wenger promised Francesc Fabregas of playing first team football for one of Europe's biggest clubs and he was interested to sign for Arsenal and it did not cost Arsenal much money to sign the talented midfielder.

Barcelona has regretted their decision to let their young gem leave their club and have looked to bring him back to Spain for some years now. The Catalan club have bid for the Spanish midfielders on some occasions but have seen their attempts rebuffed by Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

Fabregas started his Arsenal career playing in the 4-4-2 formation alongside Gilberto Silva and established himself as one of the most important players in the Arsenal team. Though he does not possess too much physicality, he is a tough competitor and has adjusted his game to suit to the physical demands of the Premier League.

Arsene Wenger tinkered with his formation to allow Fabregas the luxury to be more attacking in a 4-3-3 formation. The Spaniard has excelled in this formation and has acquired the knack of scoring important goals for the Gunners. From a very young age, he has had a great eye to pick out passes and it is no wonder that he has had numerous assists for the Gunners.

Arsenal's main striker, Robin Van Persie, said that in every match that Fabregas played, he would get at least three or four good chances to score and it was up to him to make full use of the chances which highlighted the importance of Fabregas in the team.

He is highly regarded by his teammates and though he might be younger than some of the other Arsenal players, he is respected as the captain and undisputed leader of the team.

Fabregas has suffered numerous injuries in his Arsenal career and his recurrent hamstring issue has drawn comparisons with Michael Owen, whose brilliant career has been blighted by the same fault.

But with the emergence of Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, Fabregas' workload will be reduced in the future and that should not be cited as a reason for him to move away from the Emirates because he is a fighter and will not back down from a good physical battle.

Fabregas has dreamt of conquering many titles in Spain and Europe with his hometown club Barcelona, who are in the midst of an incredible era. He has been frustrated with Arsenal's lack of titles and Wenger's policy of not spending enough to acquire quality players.

But even though Arsenal have not spent much, they have a quality team which is capable of winning titles if Fabregas is fully focused and can be at his best for the Gunners.

Barcelona have shown a lot of interest in bring back the Spaniard to the Camp Nou and in this summer, speculations were rife that Fabregas will join the Catalan club, but Wenger stood firm and the £29 million bid was not going to be enough to prise their biggest asset. Fabregas' love for the Blaugrana is well documented but he must be pragmatic when he looks at his options.

It is fair to say that Xavi Hernandez is the heart and soul of the Barcelona midfield while Andres Iniesta is his established partner. Barcelona's humiliation of Real Madrid proved once again that Xavi Hernandez cannot be displaced from the Barcelona team till he calls it a day.

Andres Iniesta is a different midfielder to Xavi and possesses dribbling skills which are comparable to Lionel Messi. Iniesta is arguably Barcelona's most creative player and is close to irreplaceable just like Xavi in the Barcelona midfield.

This leaves only Sergio Busquets in the three man midfield of Barcelona, and Fabregas cannot compete with Busquets because though he is more talented than the Barcelona midfielder, he cannot do his job in defensive midfield.

This would mean that Cesc Fabregas will have to settle for a role on the bench, most probably as an impact or late substitute. He might get starts in matches to reduce the workload of Xavi and Iniesta but he will be on the bench for key contests in the La Liga and Champions League.

For a player of Cesc Fabregas' quality, he should he starting for a team regularly in important games and he is bound to be frustrated if he does not get enough games. Pep Guardiola has found immense success in the present formation and will have no reason to alter it even with the inclusion of Fabregas in his squad.

Barcelona have further strengthened their squad with the expected deal of Ibrahim Afellay, who is bound to join the Blaugrana in January. Afellay is a talented young player who is probably going to be on the bench and will be used to reduce Xavi and Iniesta's workload over the course of the season. Barcelona might also use Afellay or Bojan Krkic as a makeweight in the Fabregas deal, but Arsenal would be more than pleased to keep their prized asset at the Emirates.

Cesc Fabregas has regarded Arsene Wenger as his second father and does not want to part ways with the Gunners on a bitter note. The Arsenal supporters do not have any memories of the long transfer saga and embraced him with warm applause when he made his first appearance of the season.

Fabregas should be firm in deciding where his future lies and despite his love for the Blaugrana, he has got too much quality to spend the best years of his career on the Barcelona bench.

At only 24, Fabregas should be playing regularly and should continue with the Gunners for a minimum of the next two or three years before he moves to Spain to replace the aging but quintessential Xavi Hernandez.

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