Monday, June 2, 2014

To Cesc or Not to Cesc





Apologies for the poorly worded title. Although given that the number of rumours pertaining to Cesc Fabregas' future have reached ridiculous levels, it's almost as if I feel obliged to write a Cesc related article bearing a ridiculous title.

So here's all what has been said thus far. Sky reports that Cesc is set to leave Barcelona and return to the Premier League, and the news article begins with a dubious 'Sky Sports news understands that Cesc Fabregas is pregnant'. Okay I made the last word up. But anyway, the gist is that they 'understand' that Fab is to leave Barcelona this summer, and the Premier League is his preferred destination. The Telegraph reports that Chelsea is going to offer the chance for him to return to London, while also reporting that Arsenal have no plans to sign up despite having a buyback clause. Meanwhile, Mirror reports that Manchester City is going to rival Arsenal in a bid for him, while in another headline it also reports that Manchester United and Chelsea are leading the race to sign him. Oh and to top it all The Independent states that Liverpool are leading the race to sign up. No wait Cardiff are in pole position to sign him since Vincent Tan has a huge crush on him (sorry, couldn't resist).

It seems that crazy season has already begun. The sheer quantity of articles pouring from every tabloid is mind boggling. For instance, the Barcelona President very publicly came out and stated that Fabregas is not for sale. But who cares about actual sources when there is fun to be had and papers to be sold to excited club supporters by telling tall tales, typing them out while coolly sipping on beer (in my head at least tabloid writers drink a lot of beer at work). I suppose I shouldn't be negative since news items like these give us football fans something to do while waiting for actual transfers to happen and the World Cup to begin.

First and foremost, why would Barcelona want to sell a player of Fabregas' calibre anyway? As any Arsenal supporter will tell you, they spent years poaching him in the most insidious of ways. After several seasons of the 'will-he-won't-he' drama playing out, much to the heartbreak of Gooners everywhere our El Capitan left back in 2011. It seems rather odd to me that Barcelona would want to sell one of the best players in the world (despite a few lacklustre performances) merely three seasons after purchasing him. Especially since Xavi is at an age where he's closer to a walking stick than a new pair of studs. Wasn't Cesc supposed to be his heir anyway?

I suppose there can't be smoke without fire, and assuming that Barcelona are willing to sell him this summer, I have a few thoughts about a potential return to Arsenal. If Arsenal do have that buyout clause, I'd walk right up to Arsene Wenger and say 'Get him back!' It's Cesc Fabregas! The main reasons are mostly emotional. He may have been a Spaniard from Barcelona, but he is an Arsenal man. In his first season at Barcelona, where his license to roam was greatly diminished, there were broad statements that he had become too 'Arsenal' to play in Pep Guardiola's system. Simply put, Arsene Wenger allows his players to express themselves, and there is no greater example of a player truly expressing himself than that of Fabregas. What he did on the field, was at times, no less than magic. He was our Captain at the age of 21, he lead the team even though he was essentially a child, a year younger than my current age. You could see the passion he played with, and nearly every Arsenal supporter was on the verge of tears when he decided to finally leave.

So yes, most of the reasons for bringing Cesc back are emotional. It would kill us to see him playing for a rival. But more than that, there are footballing reasons as well. This might sound slightly un-Arsenalish, but when you do have the opportunity to purchase a world class talent, you simply must make the most of it. If the transfer of a Mesut Ozil could raise the positivity levels to around the club to ecstatic last season, then the return of Cesc Fabregas would receive no lesser than thunderous applause. There's no doubt that he'd improve any team he played for, so why should our prodigal son not improve our own team. The questions of 'where would he play' are too premature. A player like him would find a way in our team, and he's versatile enough to play in a variety of positions. Think about it, he's played on the wing, in central midfield, as the classic No. 10 attacking midfielder with a license to roam and even as a False 9. There's also the problem that he might usurp another player's position, I mean it's not as if we have a lot of injuries throughout the season, and our Ramseys and Ozils keep playing game after game after without tiring or getting injured.

Right.

You can never have too much of a good thing. Granted, our team is filled with midfielders. But at the end of the day the only question that needs answering is whether he would improve the team? The answer in my opinion is undoubtedly so.

Isn't it time our El Capitan returns home?