The Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona saga is proving to be one of the most long drawn transfer stories in recent memory, and it shows no sign of calming down as both teams continue to fight out for the Spanish midfielder.
Arsenal signed Fabregas from Barcelona when the Spanish midfielder was just 16 and under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger, Fabregas has matured into one of the best midfielders in the world. Fabregas is currently Arsenal’s captain.
Over the last two years there has been intense speculation on Fabregas returning back to his childhood club. Barcelona have expressed interest in him and see him as the potential heir to the legendary, Xavi Hernandez.
Most Arsenal fans and the club have been upset in the way the Catalan giants attempted to lure Fabregas to Spain. This included several Barcelona players stating that Fabregas had Barcelona “DNA,” although to be fair to them even Thomas Vermaelen did state that. In fact, it is only understandable that Fabregas has a deep desire to return to Barcelona.
The Barcelona Perspective
Let us make one thing clear, Barcelona do not need Fabregas currently and in my opinion will never need him. Fabregas sadly just not as good as Xavi and Iniesta currently and the duo have too much quality to be usurped by the Arsenal captain. Also Fabregas’s constant injury problems mean that he will forever be facing a battle to stay fit.
Now there is no doubt that Fabregas is supremely talented and can someday become better than Xavi. But currently he stands no chance. In other words if Fabregas’ dream move does eventually go through, he is merely going to be a benchwarmer at Barcelona.
Pep Guardiola can however change their formation to accommodate Fabregas by removing Pedro but that would be absurd as it has been extremely successful this season and Pedro is proving to be an absolutely great player.
So then it would essentially leave Fabregas with a place on the Barcelona bench, something like what happened to the Barcelona flop, Hleb.
That raises the question of the transfer fee. In the summer of 2010, Arsenal made it perfectly clear that they would not sell their captain for £30 million, which is what Barcelona offered. Arsenal are reportedly expecting a transfer fee in the region of £45-50 million. Barcelona have made it explicitly clear that they don’t have the funds to meet the Gunners’ evaluation.
So should Barcelona spend that much money on a player who is not playing first team football regularly? Obviously not. Barcelona have more pressing needs which includes improving their defensive depth considering Abidal’s recent problems. Barcelona’s defense has missed some key personnel this season and signing Fabregas may just prevent signings in more important positions.
Signing Fabregas will add some quality into the depth at Barcelona but in the process of signing him, Barcelona should not break the bank. Investing close to £50 million in a player who will be a squad player would end up being a poor piece of business for Barcelona.
In La Masia, they have the best source of youth talent all around the world and the same academy that produced Xavi and Lionel Messi will continue to develop world class talent.
Barcelona also have Thiago Alcantara and Jonathan dos Santos, both of whom maybe integrated into the first team next season. Alcantara has shown enough promise and is widely considered to be the heir to Xavi. Signing Fabregas may prove to be a waste as it might hinder the development and growth of Alcantara.
The Arsenal Perspective
For the past two seasons, Barcelona have been making several attempts to sign Arsenal’s captain but had their bid rejected twice by Arsenal last season. The reason simply was that Barcelona offered a mere £30 million which Arsenal found too low and rightfully so.
Fabregas is Arsenal’s talisman, their captain. Their game is built around his passing, vision and creativity. But they have shown signs that indicate that they might be interested in selling their captain if the price is right. If Arsenal do lose Fabregas, they have shown that they will get the right amount and not settle for anything less than their evaluation.
Currently, he is one of the best midfielders in the world and some would say only behind, Xavi and Iniesta but that is debatable. He is also currently their captain. He is just 23 years old and has potential to soar great heights if he can get over his constant injury worries. When his immense talent and room for improvement are taken into consideration it becomes clear that Arsenal are quite right to demand £45-50 million for this player.
If recent reports are to be believed, then Arsenal have given Fabregas the permission to complete his dream move provided the transfer fee is correct.
Also I am of the opinion that selling him would be the best thing to do. It is clear that Fabregas has a lot of love for Barcelona. After all he is a product of the La Masia and many of his friends are now players at Barcelona. Arsenal should sell him off if they get the right offer as there is no point in keeping a player against his wishes.
That being said even if the sale doesn’t go through, one will not expect tantrums from Fabregas like Mascherano did in 2010. Fabregas has always been a perfect sportsman and has displayed great professionalism during the course of the entire saga.
One cannot fathom anything other than him giving the entire 100 percent if Barcelona fail to sign him.
Selling Fabregas for the right money would give Arsenal some cash to invest in other positions that require strengthening. Arsenal need some defensive reinforcements and the money acquired in the Fabregas transfer could tempt Wenger to sign a good defender like Cahill, Mertesacker or Vertonghen.
Selling him would also allow the likes of Ramsey, Nasri or Wilshere to take over from Fabregas as the central midfielder and would speed up their development and progress.
But for Fabregas, the best thing to do would be to stay at Arsenal. At the Emirates he is a hugely loved and admired player and is guaranteed a starting spot.
Although his frustrations from a lack of trophies is understandable, it is also looking more and more likely that Arsenal will end their trophy drought, if not this season surely next season.
Barcelona have made it clear that they are in no position to meet Arsenal’s evaluation of the player unless, of course, they sell some other players. Arsenal have also shown that they are unwilling to budge from their demands.
So that would mean that most probably Fabregas would stay at Arsenal for another season at least.
In my opinion that would be the best thing for all three parties involved: Arsenal, Barcelona and Fabregas.
So while it is right of Arsenal to demand £45-50 million for their captain, Barcelona needn’t sign him for such a large fee.