Monday, March 21, 2011

Cesc Fabregas Transfer Saga: Should Arsenal Allow Him to Move to FC Barcelona?

Cesc Fabregas has played with injury and pain and has made his best efforts to conquer trophies with Arsenal. The captain has been inspirational for the Gunners on several occasions in the past but he is not a natural leader and his captaincy has come under the scanner many times this season after their spectacular collapses against Tottenham and Newcastle. Though there are many critics who have criticised him for his leadership, his presence on the pitch for the Gunners has been sorely missed in the last few weeks.

The Spanish midfielder is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in the world and is arguably Arsenal's most influential player in recent seasons. Fabregas is the creative hub around which the team revolves and his presence in midfield allows more freedom for Jack Wilshere who has established a brilliant understanding with him. Though he has developed into a world class player at Arsenal, the lack of trophies at the club has frustrated him.

He has tried his best to win trophies with the club but injuries to many key players have derailed the challenge in recent seasons. In this season, he has struggled with recurring hamstring injuries which is a worry for the long term future of the player considering the struggles encountered by Michael Owen in the past. Wenger has managed this Arsenal team to immense success in the past but his frugality in the transfer market have played a part in this trophy drought.

Fabregas has enjoyed success with the Spain National team in the World Cup and the European Championship but has had little to show in terms of silverware in his time at Arsenal. However, the former Barcelona youth player has seen his friends at FC Barcelona conquer many trophies and build a legacy. Barcelona have a team that is capable of beating any team in the world but they would like to sign their former youth player.

The midfielder, who laid the assist for the goal in the World Cup final, has admitted that he would love to return to the club if they do require his services. The Blaugrana have sought the services of the young midfielder and made official bids to sign the Arsenal captain. However, Arsenal's reluctance to negotiate any deal and Wenger's excellent relationship with Fabregas made the transfer impossible last summer.

Though Fabregas has a long term contract with Arsenal, it is likely that he would move from Arsenal before the end of the contract. The Gunners will find it extremely tough to persuade their captain to stay if he does want a move from the Emirates. Wenger is a manager, who does not like to hold on to unhappy players in the squad and if they do not win the EPL this season, there is a good possibility that he will let Fabregas leave if the offer matches Arsenal's valuation of the Spanish International.

Though replacing a midfielder of his calibre is extremely difficult, Arsenal have two excellent youngsters in
Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere who have an important role to play in the long term future of the club. Ramsey has completely recovered from his long term injury and could still play an important role in the title run-in this year. Wilshere has been the revelation of the season without a doubt and has cemented his place in the starting 11 with excellent performances throughout the season.

Arsenal could manage to sign an experienced attacking midfielder for less than half the money obtained from Fabregas while they could also strengthen their team with an experienced Premiership defender and a defensive midfielder to provide depth to the squad. The money which will be around the fee paid by Chelsea to obtain Fernando Torres could be utilised to bring a number of quality players to the club.

However, if Arsene Wenger decides to invest the money in the Arsenal savings account, the trophy cabinet is certain to remain empty. He must replace the outgoing Fabregas with a quality midfielder for Arsenal to challenge for trophies next season. The decision on whether to sell Fabregas boils down to two things: the EPL title this year and Fabregas' decision.

If Arsenal do lift the EPL title, there is still a good possibility that Cesc Fabregas will stay but if they do not, it is unlikely that Wenger will be able to convince his captain to stay on. If Fabregas does leave the club, there will be a number of issues to consider for the Arsenal manager including the decision of captaincy but it does not spell doom for the club in any way.

Wenger must spend to buy proven performers for Arsenal and utilize the money obtained from the transfer to invest in more quality players to supplement the likes of Van Persie, Nasri and Wilshere. At the moment, the Arsenal manager will not entertain any thoughts regarding the transfer of Cesc Fabregas because they must concentrate on fighting till the end of the season.

The Frenchman will know that he will have a great opportunity to persuade Fabregas to stay if they do win the EPL and it will be another reason why Arsenal and Wenger, in particular, will be desperate to achieve consistency at this stage of the season.

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