Do Arsenal need Cesc Fabregas? Such a question would not even need a second thought a year ago to those associated with the Arsenal. But with the midfielder’s future uncertain at Barcelona there seems a chance he may ply his trade with another Premier League side come the start of next season.
The Spaniard will consider a transfer to the Premier League this summer as his return to Barcelona has not gone as planned, as unexpected fan displeasure has seen an exit on the cards since last summer. Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea will be offered the chance to bring Fabregas back to the Premier League but the idea of a return to Arsenal is not the foregone conclusion that it once may have been.
Ramsey – The New Cesc
Out of all the clubs in the Premier League, it would seem Arsenal are in the best position to resign Fabregas. Arsene Wenger has previously quipped that the playmaker would one day return to the Emirates and a buy-back option that was agreed as part of the deal that saw him move to the Nou Camp in 2011 would mean any deal would represent good value for Arsenal.
This season however has seen the emergence of Aaron Ramsey as Arsenal’s driving force in midfield and one must think where Fabregas would fit in to a midfield that has seen the addition of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla since his departure. With Mikel Arteta showing his age in the latter parts of the season there is an argument that Fabregas could fill that position but it was evident this season that a more physical presence was needed there i.e. a Morgan Schneiderlin type player.
To use an Arsene Wenger phrase; if Arsenal buy Fabregas does that ‘kill’ Ramsey? I would certainly say no to this question. If Cesc Fabregas is available to buy this summer, then Arsenal and Wenger must do just that. There are still questions of whether Ramsey is capable of completing a full season without injury and having Cesc there will not only allow the weight of responsibility to be lifted from the Welshman but will also maintain that there is always someone of that ilk in the team in terms of goal scoring from the midfield.
Ramsey and Fabregas can play in the same midfield. In 2009 Ramsey was in fantastic form and showing great promise as Arsenal were three points from the top of the league when the former Cardiff man suffered his horrific leg break. This was in a midfield starring Fabregas and although Ramsey was often used in wider areas, if a true defensive midfielder is bought in the summer there seems no reason why these two could not operate effectively together in front.
Although it is nice to imagine a world where Fabregas is back and scoring goals for Arsenal in reality it may not be so easy. As we know Arsene Wenger is not the most predictable in the transfer market and there will be strong competition for his signature. Manchester United were seemingly desperate for Fabregas to join last summer and the question was asked of why Arsenal were not getting involved in the race to sign him. It seemingly became clear that there was very little chance of Cesc leaving Barcelona at that point and Wenger, still being close with Fabregas, was aware of this. With a new manager in Louis Van Gaal and an old pal in Robin Van Persie at Old Trafford, if Arsenal do not act then it seems his most likely destination.
Chelsea and Manchester City seem less likely destinations for Fabregas but football continues to throw surprises at us every week and if the right offer is made, you can never say never. However, let us pray never!
First things First
So just one week after Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph and already we are driving ourselves mad over potential returns of players and new signings. One cannot rule out Fabregas staying at Barcelona. To leave in these circumstances would mean leaving with a reputation of failure which would hurt the midfielder greatly after pushing so hard for a move back to Catalonia in 2011. However, new Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has hinted that his future is uncertain and departure may be the only option.
Arsenal must act on this. They are in a fantastic position to get this deal done if it becomes clear he is for sale. However, there is the small matter of the World Cup on the horizon for Fabregas and it seems more will become clear come July.