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Cesc Fabregas: Arsenal or Barcelona, Assessing His Options

I know that everyone has heard too much about Cesc Fabregas’ protracted transfer saga. It’s about time for Gooners to be sure of Cesc’s commitment to the club. He is now at the crossroads of his career and he needs to take up an clear stance on what he wants to achieve and with which club over the next 5-6 years: the peak of his career. He has been very passive about the whole situation over the past year, made clear by him shying away from the media. He must choose whether he wants to take the easy way out, to hook up with best friend Pique or establish himself as an Arsenal legend by winning something (sorry, but even though the Emirates Cup is the only thing Arsenal have actually won over the past six years, you can’t be THAT desperate).

Let’s start with the actual transfer situation. Cesc is clearly driven to win trophies: that’s all he ever says. He knows that the Nou Camp would gift him countless trophies, but out of respect to the other club he loves, he hasn’t submitted a transfer request. The reason that this hysteria has kept coming back is Barcelona’s reluctance to meet Arsenal’s valuation, which though Barca complain is too high, is perhaps too low (I thought Fabregas was just a little bit, but only a little bit, better than Andy Carroll). They simply don’t need him, so why spend 40 million on someone surplus to requirements. Barca clearly won’t pay 40 million, so if Fabregas leaves, Arsenal would have buckled, and sold him after negotiations or Fabregas would’ve expressed his intent to leave Arsenal, the former being more likely. Barcelona want Fabregas for pride, more than for the team. Catalonia would want to rub another superstar in Real Madrid’s face and they feel Fabregas has been “kidnapped and left for ransom,” so they want their boy to come home. If only he was nearing the end of his contract. Hence, Arsenal have control over the situation.

If Arsenal were to lose Fabregas, they would struggle to qualify for the Champions League, unless Wenger stops being thrifty. Wenger says he’ll bring in quality if his stars leave. He needs to do this with the City and Liverpool rising into contention. However, I’m worried about what he’s been smoking, because apparently Sebastian Squillaci is quality. It’s clear he would only replace Super Fab internally, with Aaron Ramsey. He’s good, but we’re talking about Cesc Fabregas Soler here.

So it’s up to Cesc to stamp his authority on the situation. We’ve been playing this chess game for too long, can you make your first move!!! Cesc wants trophies, but is he willing to become another small part of the Barca juggernaut or to be the main man at Arsenal and fight for trophies? It’s obvious he wouldn’t start unless they change formation(when will that happen?) or until Xavi starts to slide in 3-4 years time. You might say kick out Busquets, but he is integral to Barca’s ridiculous possession and gives Xavi and Iniesta the ball. Fabregas is as good defensively as Jamie Carragher is offensively. So sure he’d win trophies, but he wouldn’t play those big matches. He’d be just another player. But if he wants that, then he needs to make sure that Wenger knows he definitely wants to go to Barca.

The other option is for him is to captain of Arsenal FC and lead his club to a trophy, which would probably lead to many more. He would be much better known as a player if he stays at Arsenal, even if it doesn’t bring as much silverware. He is the standout player in a good team at Arsenal. At the Nou Camp, he’d be just another good player in a standout team. The captaincy seems like a burden to him at the Emirates. He leads by example but didn’t have a great season, probably due to a lack of commitment, with Barca waiting in the wings all the time. Perhaps he should hand over the captaincy to Robin Van Persie or Thomas Vermaelen, who are 100% committed to the club. Or he could just leave…..

Whatever happens with Fabregas (wait until the last hour of the transfer window, Gooners), it’s up to his ambition as a player, to be remembered, or to be part of a team to be remembered. To win trophies(or try to) for himself as the main man, or to win trophies as part of the team. Is he fed up, or will he push on. Many people would say leaving would further his career, but I feel he would slow down is development as a player. He needs to make his move, so that he can concentrate on playing football and we can concentrate on more exciting stories, like Crawley Town’s imminent rise to the top of world football (watch out Barca!). It’s a difficult choice for Fabregas (lots of trophies or individual greatness), but he must make his position clear come the trip to St James’ Park, so that this madness finally stops. Whatever he chooses to do the future is bright, but it depends on what Fabregas is willing to sacrifice and what kind of great he wants to be.

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