Should Arsenal fans be overly concerned by his exit?

Article courtesy of Chukwuma Echezona at Gunnersphere


I think I was one of the first that spoke against the introduction of Cesc Fabregas into the Arsenal team after Patrick Vieira departed for Juventus in 2005 and Ray Parlour moved to Middlesbrough. However, I was clearly mistaken and firmly put in my place.

The youngster who came from Barcelona has developed into a world-class player, and at only the age of 23 he has the technique and the brain of a footballer who has been playing for years. Fans across the world have witnessed and fallen in love with the budding star for his superb vision that have resulted in goals, as well as scoring some along the way.

Fabregas started as a traditional midfielder when he first came to Arsenal, but as the years have flown by, he has learnt to play in different positions. The Spanish international on rare occasions has played out on the right wing as well as being deployed as an offensive midfielder. He now plays in the supporting striker role and is one of the clubs main goal threats with his ability to take free-kicks and score from the penalty spot.

The Spanish international has become somewhat of a Thierry Henry at the club, not just because he took the Frenchman’s armband, but statistics show that when Fabregas does not play then the odds of winning drop dramatically.

Thierry Henry was, and always will be the king of the club; Fabregas however is the prince who could eventually take the strikers place if all goes to plan. Fabregas has been a devoted member of Arsenal since the age of 16 and last summer showed his loyalty to the club after staying with the Gunners this season following Barcelona’s approach. After lifting the World Cup in South Africa, Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol indicated that the Arsenal talisman is the future of Barcelona, and even forced (along with Pepe Reina) the clubs jersey on the midfielder in front of the gathering press in Spain.

Recently, Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique stirred the pot even further after stating that Fabregas still dreams of a move to the Catalan club, and will eventually fabricate in the future. Cesc Fabergas has made no secrets that he would like to one day return to his roots and play for the Spanish Giants, although he never said when this will happen.

No one is in doubt of Fabergas’ abilities, but if he goes to Spain will he be as loved as he is in North London? The Spaniard will most certainly excel at Barcelona, but he would be a mere player, not a talisman as he is for Arsenal.

When Fabregas does leave for Barcelona (as he intends to), which players place would be under threat? Xavi and Inestia’s? I very much doubt it as they are one of the best partnerships in the Primera Division. Pedro is showing signs of quality, Lionel Messi is irreplaceable, and Sergio Busquets is the holding midfielder in the team. Fabregas would probably spend more of his time sitting on the bench and fighting for a place within the line-up, whilst at Arsenal he has no chance of this occurring.

The recent purchase of 24 year old Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay (who will arrive in Spain in January on a free) has certainly hindered and damaged Fabregas’ hope of a move in the near future. Xavi (30) could go on for a further 2-3 years at the club, whilst Andres Iniesta (26) has another 6 years at least left in the tank.

For Fabregas to swap the Emirates for the Nou Camp now would be foolish, the 23-year-old would become a wasted talent. However, if he makes the switch in 3 years time (providing Barca are still interested in him of course) then he will most certainly replace the aging stars.

Nevertheless, should Arsenal fans really worry if Fabregas does decide to leave next summer? Not in my opinion.

For a fee of £50 million Wenger should sell anyone of his players, even Fabregas. Inter Milan are interested in the midfielder as reports suggested earlier in the week, and have placed the Spaniard on the top of their most wanted list. The Italian side are prepared to table a bid of £40 million for the Arsenal man in the summer, and I think Wenger should take it.

We have plenty of midfielders in our squad, and to be fair Fabregas does not look the same player as he once was. Samir Nasri has displayed some magical performances this season and is considered as one of the clubs best players by many Arsenal fans. Jack Wilshere is proving to fans that he is a superstar in the making and can hold the midfield alongside Alex Song. Aaron Ramsey is back and played his first reserve game since his horrific leg break back in February. We also have Denilson and Abou Diaby challenging for spots in the team.

Considering all this, Fabregas leaving wouldn’t be such a disaster for the club, but more on a personal level for the player himself. A lot of Arsenal players in the past have left the club in search of trophies and have come unstuck. Apart from Thierry Henry and Nickolas Anelka, the rest have accomplished nothing special in their careers (Mathieu Flamini, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Adebayor are to name just a few). At the end of the day if Fabregas does leave then I fear the same will happen to him, which would be sad to see.

Read more Arsenal blogs at the excellent Gunnersphere website