Until a few years ago, the so called ‘Top 4’ dominated the Premier League. This consisted of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool & Arsenal, and all these teams were basically guaranteed a Champions League place due to the strength of their squad compared to others in the league. Now, moneybags Manchester City & Tottenham Hotspur have been added to the equation and many football fans & pundits think that Arsenal will be the team to suffer from this and possibly drop out of the Champions League places.
Now for all of the good Arsene Wenger has put into Arsenal, he is losing the plot. Many people would think that I am referring to his stubbornness on not making any big name signings or getting out the chequebook, the club failing to win any trophies over the past few years or numerous spats with coaches over the last few years, most notably Kenny Dalglish & Alan Pardew. However, I am talking about an issue that will anger many Arsenal fans. Wenger has to sell Fabregas & Nasri now to progress as a club.
Cesc Fabregas is a quality player but a move to his beloved Barcelona is inevitable in the next few years. This transfer saga has been going on for years and is now becoming a bit boring & this speculation will increase the Spaniard’s desire to return to his club and the place he was developed as a footballer. With Barcelona trying to push through a transfer soon, Wenger is refusing to sell the Arsenal captain for anything less than £40million pounds, while Barcelona have put in a bid for £27million pounds. If the player wants to go, why keep a clearly unhappy player at the club.
The same could be said for Samir Nasri, but in his case Arsenal have to sell him before this transfer window closes and risk losing him on a free transfer at the end of the season when his contract expires. Manchester City, Manchester United & Inter Milan have all been linked to the French player of the year, but as with Fabregas, Wenger is refusing to sell. This time last year, Arsenal fans would have gladly seen the back of the former Marseille captain, but after proving his worth to the side last year with countless goals and assists, many fans are divided on whether they should keep a player whose brilliance has won them many matches or sell while they can unless he commits to the Gunners.
If they sell Fabregas for a fee of around £35million pounds and Nasri for £25million pounds, that will give them £60million pounds more to spend on top of their current transfer budgets and sells of fringe players, such as the over confident but not so great striker Nicklas Bendtner. With that budget, Arsenal could get about 5 quality players in for that money, namely centre backs Chris Samba (Blackburn), Gary Cahill (Bolton) or Phil Jagielka (Everton), wingers Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia), Eden Hazard (Lille) or Alex Chamberlain (Southampton) plus other big name signings, such as Real Madrid strikers Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuain.
For all of their worth to Arsenal, is it right to keep two clearly unhappy players at the club in Fabregas & Nasri? The answer is no, as this will disrupt the harmony at the club, especially with Fabregas being captain & an uncertainty that even if Nasri stays beyond August, they risk losing a quality player for nothing. With a squad that I deem not good enough for a Champions League spot this season at the minute, these departures will free up more funds & if Wenger decides to do a rarity and use this money to sign 4 or 5 quality players that will make a difference, Arsenal will be contenders again, but until that moment happens, however unlikely, Arsenal will not progress as a club.
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