Sunday, June 12, 2011

Arsenal Transfers: To Sell Cesc Fabregas or Not to Sell Him, That Is the Question

There are still around 80 days of transfer madness left in this summer but some Arsenal fans are already negative regarding the transfers for the Gunners in the summer. It is understandable that most fans are frustrated with this six year long trophy drought but if ever Arsene Wenger deserves the trust of the fans, it is at this time of the summer where supporters should place their faith in the long serving Arsenal manager.

"In Arsene, We Trust" has been one of the most frequently used quotes by Arsenal fans in the last decade but many have been disillusioned by the frugal policies of the Frenchman and a section of fans do not want Wenger as the manager for Arsenal. This summer could be crucial for both Wenger and his young team because if they do fail to win anything next season, the backlash could cause some serious problems for the Arsenal board, Arsene Wenger and the current squad.

In this current scenario, it is important that the under-pressure manager can retain the services of his best players. Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy have only one year left on their current deals and Wenger has said that he will not allow the players to run down their contracts like Mathieu Flamini did when he was at Arsenal. In that case, the Gunners potentially face the realistic scenario of selling the two players at a bargain due to their contracts running out.

Wenger is probably one of the most experienced managers in the world and will need all of that in dealing with the current situation this summer. In addition to this, it is no surprise that Barcelona are once again linked with club captain Cesc Fabregas who stayed at the Emirates last season despite a lot of interest from Barcelona.

Fabregas has said in the past that he would like to play for Barcelona someday and his friends Gerard Pique and David Villa have been reported to welcome the arrival of the Arsenal captain. With Nasri and Clichy not yet committing to the Gunners, it is likely that the departure of Fabregas will not help them being motivated about Arsenal's prospects in the 2011-12 season.

Though Fabregas has missed a number of games in the last two seasons due to injuries, he is the most creative player for the Gunners and one of the few world class players in the squad. He is the most important player on the pitch whenever he plays for Arsenal because he sets the tempo of the play and also is more or less bound to create chances even when he is not at his best.

Many supporters feel that Fabregas is going to suffer from his recurring hamstring injuries in the future and that this is the summer where Arsenal can cash in on the Spaniard. Though he has suffered a lot of injuries in the last two seasons, one would have to remember that Wenger is also at blame for this situation regarding Fabregas. The Spaniard has played when not fully fit and some blame must be attached to the manager and his medical team for giving him the green signal to play.

Also, the Spanish midfielder has not had a summer off for the last three seasons and having played a lot for Arsenal over the past few season, it is possible that this could be a primary reason for his injuries. Most of his injuries in the past year or so have been muscular injuries which could happen because of not having had enough rest for his body.

The emergence of Jack Wilshere has taken some pressure off the captain and helped Fabregas move deeper to avoid being marked out of the game and Wilshere has the ability to become one of the world's best midfielders in the near future. However, the young England International looks suited to the deeper role alongside Song than playing in the attacking midfield role.

Aaron Ramsey has recovered completely from his horrific injury and he was originally touted to be the long term Fabregas replacement for Arsenal. Though he is a different player to Fabregas in the sense that he distributes play faster and also his movement off the ball is considerable, he has shown in many games that with time, he can be effective in the advanced midfield role.

However, with the Welsh International only making a handful number of starts for the Gunners this season, it could prove to be a huge gamble if Cesc Fabregas was to go. It is almost impossible to find a proper replacement for the Arsenal captain and many of them could be beyond the reach of the Gunners due to wages or transfer fees.

Wenger will be faced with a tricky problem regarding Cesc Fabregas, a problem for which none can find an answer that satisfies all Arsenal fans. However, the Arsenal manager would have to deal with it in such a way that they have a realistic possibility to win trophies next season which is probably the only way to quell their frustration.

Barcelona have to meet Arsenal's valuation of the player, which is likely to be on the higher side in this inflated transfer market. According to the Mirror, they could offer one of their youth players, Thiago Alcantara along with cash in order to sign Fabregas but Wenger will weigh the pros and cons of any possible deal and will only enter negotiations if the player makes it clear that he would want to move to the Spanish club.

Selling Cesc Fabregas would undoubtedly impact the team in a huge way but making intelligent signings to deal with the departure is the way ahead if Fabregas is to leave for Barcelona. Arsenal will be armed with cash to buy some excellent players should the deal happen and Wenger could alter the formation to a 4-4-1-1 if Fabregas does leave.

However, selling both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the same summer is something which Arsene Wenger would not like to do. It is more likely that he will offer the Frenchman an improved contract if Fabregas does indeed leave for Barcelona because it will be very difficult to replace two quality players in a team in one summer. Though Nasri has incurred the wrath of some Arsenal fans over his contract negotiations, it is undenaible that he is someone who has the quality to make a difference and Wenger will not like to see him leave.

If Fabregas leaves, then Wenger could make a move for a big name signing like Karim Benzema whose future could be in question should Real Madrid sign Sergio Aguero. Wenger has said that a deal is not impossible for Benzema and signing someone of his calibre will provide a much needed boost for Arsenal. However, Wenger will probably make some defensive signings as well in this summer considering that it has been their achilles' heel in the last few seasons.

Fabregas has been frustrated by the lack of trophies at Arsenal and could be interested in a move to his hometown club. Also, Wenger will understand that keeping a player against his wishes, especially if the player is the captain of the team, could backfire and result in negative vibrations in the dressing room.

If Fabregas has his heart set on a move to Barcelona, Wenger should allow the move to happen but negotiate smartly in order to utilize the best possible deal from the Catalan giants. It is preferable that Wenger does not sign any youth players of the Barcelona team including talented youngsters like Thiago Alcantara and Bojan Krkic because the Gunners need established players in their squad and already have many talented players in the squad.

Arsenal will look for a cash only deal as it will allow them to spend on established players as opposed to signing someone like Bojan for whom it could be difficult to adjust to the physicality of the league. With Sergio Aguero's situation not yet clear, there is still a possibility that he will join Real Madrid and in that case, it is likely that Benzema could move if there is a good offer on the table for him.

Though the Gunners' are amongst the elite clubs in the world, they do not have the spending power of Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City, which is why it is important that they make the right deals. Arsene Wenger will try to do what Liverpool did with Fernando Torres in January and look to strengthen with a couple of important signings. With the financial fair play regulations implemented from the next year, this could be the summer which is crucial for the Gunners.

Cesc Fabregas' future remains uncertain but it is more likely to depend on his decision on whether to stay at the club. He is still hugely respected by Arsenal fans and should he move to Barcelona, it must be done quickly in order for Arsenal to have time to sign their targets.

If interested, read Arsenal Transfer Prospects: Pros and Cons of signing Jan Vertonghen, Falcao, Ricky Alvarez, Scott Parker and Gervinho in this series of Arsenal Transfer Prospects 

No comments: