Over the course of the last week, one particular rumor caught my attention and my imagination (as I imagine it did for a lot of Gooners): Cesc Fabregas might be made available for sale. Initially I took it with a pinch of salt, as the said rumor keeps coming up again and again only for it to be shut down and Cesc to score a couple of goals for Barca. But this time, somehow, it seems a tad more viable. Having said that, it may turn out to be another damp squib, but I’m indulging my imagination happily for now.
So yes, Cesc is unhappy that he is not playing regularly. He’s also lost out on Pep, who’s moved to Bayern, and apparently Cesc is not getting along well with the new manager, who it appears wants to make the side better but without Cesc as the central force. So Barca might look to sell Cesc, and Cesc himself might want that considering that he would want to play regularly keeping in mind the upcoming big tournaments for the national team.
So what can possibly happen? Cesc may go to Bayern to be reunited with his childhood hero, Pep, or Cesc may be go back to Arsenal. Oh and Cesc apparently has been looking for a place in London. So there!
Now before I go on, I would LOVE to see him back. It would be a statement of intent more than anything else, and a statement of intent from Arsenal right now, for me is as good as winning a trophy (hopefully it can lead us to winning an ACTUAL trophy as well).
Back to my train of thought: Arsenal have the first right of refusal for Cesc and if the above situation were to arise, it would be an interesting dilemma for Arsene, Arsenal and Cesc.
The first problem would be the fact that Cesc could cost around 30-35 mn, with a wage of 110k +. If Theo gets 100k, then surely Cesc will want more.
The second problem is the fact that the timing is all wrong. We already have a very talented midfield with Jack doing well, Ramsey coming back to form, Rosicky and Arteta forming a solid experienced base and Santi delighting more often than not. Add to this list Theo and Poldi, and we’ve got an abundance of riches (a few of which aren’t doing as well as they should, but still…). So the issue becomes why would you need a creative MF? Where would Cesc fit in? You’d surely not drop Jack for Cesc. But interestingly we were linked with Gotze and currently being linked with Draxler, and operating from a viewpoint of some smoke where there is fire, as well as Arsene’s continued maintenance of the fact that he’d buy anyone who’d improve the squad, then we can perhaps conclude that Arsene himself has been looking into the creative midfielder scenario. Perhaps he has something in mind in terms of formations or player rotations for next season.
The third problem is the budget of 60-70mn that Arsene apparently has for players and new wages. Add to this the departures of Arshavin and a few others, and perhaps we would have another 4 – 8 Mn in yearly wages (assuming Arshavin is on 80k a week).
The fourth issue is the supposedly advance negotiations with Steven Jovetic, who would cost around 25Mn and have wages around the 90k mark (I presume of course).
The fifth issue is that Arsene supposedly is also on the lookout for a Keeper, a DM and possibly a defender and a forward. Now the money’s starting to look thin.
Finally, the above conjecture can only come into play if we make it to the Champions League, which I’m fairly confident we will (touch wood).
So the question becomes whether we even need Cesc or not? Given that Jovetic is apparently close, and he was being touted as a good finisher and a forward player. Now my issue with the said is that Jovetic, I don’t think is the answer to our goal scoring woes. From what I can gather, Jovetic is a false no 9 player, something of a Bergkamp. It appears that he is better in playing in the hole rather than being up front, or possibly being the second striker in a 4-4-2 formation. If were to get Jovetic, we’d have a similar conundrum as the one spelled out above with regards to our talented midfield.
My take on it is that Cesc needs to be looked at as a false no 9 player as well, rather than a creative MF player in our formation. At Barca and for Spain he’s played that role time and time again, and his finishing has certainly improved. For me, if indeed Cesc is available and if indeed Jovetic is being targeted, we need to choose one of the two, and not both. If we were to get both, we’d be spending up to 60mn in transfer fees alone and not getting the best value out of it.
Given the choice, I’d always pick Cesc. Partly, I speak out of sentimentality, but partly I speak as someone who’s seen Cesc play regularly and have seen the love he has for our club and how he can capture the imagination of the fans. This article here (http://1nildown2oneup.net/the-greatest-goal-makers-in-the-premier-league-revealed-and-is-fabregas-yet-to-add-to-his-tally/) paints a very interesting picture as Cesc being in the same league as Henry and Bergkamp in terms of the all time assists in the EPL. So even though Jovetic appears to be class as well, is 10mn cheaper, will get less wages, is a couple of years younger, I’d put forward the case of Cesc returning.
Now if Cesc returns, then 35 mn are gone out of the 60-70mn kitty. Our player departures will help us in terms of the wages for Cesc, so we’re still left with 25-35mn in the kitty. This amount is just about enough to get a 12mn rated DM, a 10mn GK and a 10mn forward. I’m not going to throw multiple names in the list, as we’ve been linked with everyone and anyone, but I will mention one name. Loic Remy of QPR may be available for 5mn. Now I would love to hear what you guys think about him as I personally haven’t been much impressed, so I’m not sure if he’d be a good intake. We have also been linked with Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin who appears to be a good prospect. There are also the French DMs we have been linked with and Wanyama, so there are quite a few options. Personally, if we can also get in Ashley Williams I wouldn’t be disappointed, although I think that would mean the end of TV which I wouldn’t be too keen on. I think he still has quite a bit to offer us.
My proposed formation/squad for next season is as below:
Sagna/Jenkinson – Mertesacker/TV – Koz/TV – Gibbs/Nacho
——– Arteta/DM/ Ramsey – Jack/Ramsey/Rosicky ———–
Poldi/Santi – Cesc / Jack / Santi /Rosicky – Theo / Ox /Gervinho
———————- Ollie / New Forward —————————
Would love to know what you guys think! Please note that a large part of the above is hopeful conjecture, but we live on hope!
Written by: Umair Naeem.