The Cesc Saga is finally over, the ex Arsenal captain officially signing for Chelsea on a five year deal from Barcelona. Fabregas only transferred to Barca in 2011, and was thought to be the future of their midfield. But three years on and he has been unappreciated and is now unwanted by the Spanish club, so has made the switch back to the Premiership.
The 27 year old has joined Chelsea for an undisclosed fee, believed to be somewhere in the region of £27-£30m. This is after Arsenal turned down the option to bring him back to the Emirates, waiving their first refusal rights, and allowing the midfielder to sign for their rivals across town.
“Yes, everyone knows that Arsenal had the first option to sign me” Fabregas stated. But clearly Wenger believes the ex Gunner is not what the team needs right now, and funds can be utilised more effectively strengthening other areas of the squad. “They decided not to take this option and therefore it wasn’t meant to be. I wish them well in the future.” Cesc added.
Some are questioning the move, as Fabregas has a somewhat strained relationship with not only some of the Chelsea players, but also with their manager, Jose Mourinho. He will also be hoping to avoid the treatment that Rafa Benitez received when he was at Stamford Bridge as interim manager recently; barrages of abuse from the fans, despite performing admirably.
But forgetting Chelsea for a minute, let’s look at what this news means for the Gunners. The Arsenal faithful, as always, are heavily divided on the whole issue. Many feel we should have done everything in our power to bring our former captain back, while just as many are saying good riddance.
Fabregas has always been one of my favourite players, and I have wanted to see him back in an Arsenal shirt for a long time. That said, I don’t necessarily believe Wenger was wrong to deny the Spaniard a return to the Emirates. While I would have loved to welcome Cesc back, I know that Arsenal don’t possess the financial power that the likes of Chelsea and City command, and if splashing the cash on Fabregas meant other areas would be left wanting, then it wouldn’t have been worth the sacrifice.
He is a world class midfielder, no question about it. But while he would certainly add something to us in terms of depth, does he really fit into our starting eleven any more? Looking back at last season, the injury to Ramsey might have been softened slightly had we have had a player like Fabregas waiting in the wings. But with Özil in the no.10 role, and Ramsey playing as the more adventurous of the double pivot pairing, where would Cesc fit in? No matter what anyone says, he could not perform the defensive duties required alongside Ramsey, and we are not in a position to be shelling out £30m for a back up player.
If we have turned down the chance to re-sign Fabregas because we have other targets that require this summer’s war chest, then I certainly won’t be disappointed. We still need a striker, a right back, a goalkeeper, and a defensive midfielder at the very least, and if signing Fabregas meant we couldn’t complete these signings then I’m certain Wenger made the right call.
We will have to wait and see what the rest of the window has in store before truly knowing if it was right to let Cesc go to Chelsea, but at the moment I fully support Wenger and the board for their decision.
A few parting words to think about. If Cesc wasn’t available this summer, would he be the kind of player we would be linked with? No. And if Cesc went to a foreign club, let’s say Juventus or Bayern, would we care as much? Again, I’m going to say no. Putting everything in perspective, we need to think about what is best for the team and for the squad going forward, not what Cesc meant to us all those years ago. If we end up signing a world class forward, I’m sure people will be saying “Cesc who?”