The past week has been alive with rumours of many players heading to the Premier League, but one in particular as caught the attention of both the media and the fans. Cesc Fabregas appears to be leaving Barcelona to return to England and both Mancheser United and Arsenal are in the running. Arsenal had a first refusal clause built into their sale of Fabregas, but would the purchase of Fabregas be a sensible one? Or would it be simply to stop him moving to United?
There are, of course, some obvious benefits to signing a player liked Fabregas. Firstly, he is a world class player and any squad improves when he is included. Secondly, he is an Arsenal favourite after maturing as a player under Wenger and captaining the side during his time in London. The Spaniard scored 57 goals in 303 appearances and claimed assists to 98 of the sides goals in those games, although many will argue his creative presence on the pitch led to many more than that. Finally, resigning Fabregas would show that Wenger means serious business in his attempts to secure more trophies for Arsenal in the coming seasons. There is also the nice little fact Fabregas counts as a ‘home-grown’ player for European competitions.
However, I feel there may be some negatives to Fabregas returning to Arsenal that people aren’t considering fully.
Firstly I don’t think Arsenal are lacking players who can perform in the ‘number 10′ role. Mesut Ozil was the club’s record transfer in September 2013 and is one of the world’s best when playing behind the striker. Aaron Ramsey has shown his attacking prowess this season as well so there are already players vying for this exact position. What if he adapted? He would be wasted on the wing, especially at the £30m+ Arsenal will have to fork out for him, and he’s not a holding midfield player. Khedira seems to be on his way to the Emirates and Wilshere is better at the hard grafting than Fabregas, so he doesn’t fit in their either. This is already seemingly a lot of money to buy a player that will either be on the bench or force players out just to be sentimental.
Next I just don’t think the money is the most effective way of spending it. For the same money you could be looking at buying a specialist holding midfielder in Khedira and an emerging talent on the wing in the form of Griezmann, both areas that could do with specialised players coming into the squad. A technically gifted attacking midfielder is something Arsenal already have a few of.
Third point in the case against Fabregas joining Arsenal is that returning players often feel the pressure of past successes and fail to deliver to the standards expected. This is usually because over time fans have forgotten the previous failings and remember only the good things, meaning every mistake the player makes is amplified by both the media and the fans that had fond memories whilst the player was away. Taking a player just to stop him going to a rival does not seem like a good use of this kind of money either.
So what do you think? Do you want Fabregas to return in the red and white of Arsenal? Or is it simply sentiment that drives this transfer?