Arsene Wenger has reiterated that he expects Arsenal captain and all round midfield general Cesc Fabregas to stay with the club for a few more years. This is all in reference to the Spanish Giants Barcelona publicly admiring Fabregas, affirming this in producing two bids last summer to try and dislodge him from Arsenal’s clutches. But in making this valiant assertion, can Wenger in his shining armour of football philosophy really fend off the monster that is Barcelona when it comes swaggering through to kidnap the fair maiden Fabregas? Will Fabregas forgo the opportunity to return to the home of his birth and win future trophies?
We must first examine the context in which Wenger’s statement was given. He was addressing shareholders at Arsenal’s AGM and stated that “…I’m not pessimistic. I’m confident we will keep him for a few more years.” But when you address the shareholders you want to create a sense of confidence and reassure them that your biggest asset won’t be lost in the next 10-12 months. As a manager in today’s football environment you must have within your constitution a certain degree of business acumen and Wenger certainly does with sound bites such as this. Wenger has a knack of issuing these types of platitude; with the other being that Arsenal have money to spend without doing so. This all bodes well from a financial aspect and depicts a rosy façade, but what of the cynical standpoint?
The cynic would decree that Fabregas won’t be around for ‘a few more years’ and Arsenal will even struggle to keep him when the next summer transfer window reemerges to the dismay of Wenger. Arguing from the previous observable evidence, which included Fabregas seen in a Barcelona shirt, crying whilst speaking to fans of his future and his Grandma stating he would play for the Catalan club sooner rather than later, these, amongst others, prompt a pessimistic view. Another miserable and reoccurring fact is that Arsenal haven’t won a major trophy since the F.A. Cup in 2005, five years without silverware will create a yearning for Fabregas that he can realise instantly at Barcelona.
Fabregas has been stipulating that a move to his homeland would be attractive and a dream come true, to counter these claims he has reiterated his commitment to Arsenal this season, but that is all. He hasn’t pledged his future to the club or made statements that would expel these types of article. Fabregas explained that “I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal.” It demonstrates the time he is biding, he is under contract and Arsenal refused to sell in the summer, but it appeared to be in the balance at times. A further piling on of pressure upon Arsenal to release Fabregas will certainly test the resolve of all parties, the former more so.
The breaking news that Wayne Rooney has signed a new five year contract extension from the precipice of a move and what appeared an irrevocable position has certainly astounded everyone save Rooney and his agent. This may also be comparable to Fabregas and he may decide to pledge his allegiances to Arsenal for ‘a few more years’. I for one believe Barcelona will remain obdurate in pursuit of Fabregas and secure his signature in the summer. One certainty is that Fabregas has much more respect for Arsenal in his deportment than Rooney for Manchester United and would conduct himself far more respectably when the time comes.