It’s still early days but this is the sort of summer that promises a flurry of big name transfers in the Premier League especially. Take Liverpool, with a new found hope in Kenny Daglish and financial backing from the Fenway Sports group, who will be aiming to bounce back at the very least to a top four finish and the Champions League next season. Champions Manchester United will be looking to replace Paul Scholes and inject much-needed creativity into their central midfield to compete with Barcelona. United’s neighbours, Manchester City have the resources, and will look to add talent as well as experience ahead of their Champions League campaign next season. Not forgetting that the beginning of the Andre Villas Boas era at Chelsea promises a few signings as he looks to establish his style at Stamford Bridge.
Amidst all of these expected changes, there is a constant. It is the recurring matter of Arsenal’s captain, Cesc Fabregas’s proposed move to Barcelona. It is the worst kept secret in world football that Fabregas would eventually trade the Emirates for Barcelona. He has repeatedly stated his intent to move and in this age of player power”, top players like him do eventually get their moves – (Thierry Henry to Barcelona, Michael Essien to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, Kaka to Real Madrid to mention a few). If action speaks louder than words, what about being pictured in a Barcelona shirt while celebrating Spain’s 2010 World Cup victory in South Africa?
Needless to say, Arsenal’s six year trophy drought has done nothing to quell his desire to leave the Gunners. More so where will he rather be than Barcelona, his hometown and football’s place to be. Furthermore, the Catalan club and its fans would relish welcoming back one of its own, who in the long term would be Xavi’s successor both for club and country. It is a good fit for Barcelona and for Fabregas.
However, if this transfer happens early enough, it could be for Arsenal too. In truth, motivation – from seeing Arsenal falter consistently at crucial stages of the season, and lately injuries have taken their toll on the talented midfielder. A fact that is certainly not lost on Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, who recently stated that the value of Fabregas has fallen from the 40m Euros offered last summer. Whether that is true or not, it makes economic sense for Arsenal to let go now, than lose out on more money in one or two years.
Is Arsenal willing to risk his market value dropping any further, and lose out on valuable revenue before the inevitable happens? Perhaps we forget that there is a quite decent player in the Arsenal squad called Samir Nasri who would seamlessly fit in place of Fabregas. The move to Spain for Fabregas now could free up more funds to keep Nasri at the Emirates with an improved contract and on the evidence of the Frenchman’s form last season, it may indeed not be a bad idea. It is worth remembering that Arsenal has not won any title with Fabregas as captain. Is it time for a change?