Catalunya’s Cesc Conundrum: A Dream Transfer Or A Surplus?

Ever since Francesc Fabregas decided to leave FC Barcelona for Arsenal FC as a starry eyed 16 year old, debate has raged on about the manner of his departure and his inevitable return. As expected, opinions differ on both sides but a few misconceptions need to be cleared first.

For one, the management and coaching staff at Barcelona never wanted Cesc to leave which was quite evident by the fact that then President and manager of the club, Joan Laporta and Frank Rijkaard, made a personal plea to the young Catalan to reconsider his decision. But due to Spanish regulations and the fact that Barcelona were in the midst of elections, Barcelona were not able to hold on to the talented mid fielder.

Sports News - March 31, 2010

Is it the right time for Cesc to re-unite with Messi?

That is all in the past though as Fabregas has gone on to establish himself as one of the best players in the world at Arsenal while Barcelona have gone on to win a number of trophies in Spain as well as in Europe.

It seemed that things had settled down nicely on both sides. The Barcelona fans were happy because the club had been winning and the Arsenal fans were happy to see Fabregas develop into a world class player who could lead them to success. Things seem to be changing though with elections due in Barcelona.

The recent encounter between the two clubs seems to have given the ‘Fabregas to Barca’ rumors a fresh lease of life. It has been an open secret that Barcelona have always admired the Catalan playmaker but now with a new administration due to take over at the club, this interest might just turn into a bid to bring Cesc ‘back home’. This brings us to the inevitable question – Does FC Barcelona need Francesc Fabregas?

There is no doubt that Fabregas is a wonderful talent, but at Barcelona he would have to contend with two men who are arguably the only two better than him in his preferred position. In Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, Barcelona have the best mid field pairing in the world. The system which has been set in place is doing wonders and a change now could lead to undesirable results.

A few have suggested pushing Iniesta to the left wing thereby creating space for Fabregas but such a move would only make matters worse. Iniesta, for all his talents, has never looked comfortable on the left wing. He has never been a goal threat and playing Iniesta on the wing would mean compressing the entire formation leading to a lack of width. Iniesta is much better in the middle, where he orchestrates the attack along with Xavi. It has always been difficult for players to integrate into the Barcelona system, and while Cesc is a son of the same system, modifying it to accommodate one player could create problems in the long run.

Another reason that many Cules bring up is the abundance of talent in the Cantera, some of whom have the potential to, one day play for the Blaugrana. Many believe that bringing Fabregas back would set a bad example for the current crop of youngsters, who would also think of moving out in search of greener pastures in the safety of a return to Barcelona after achieving success outside.

The likes of Rafael Dos Santos, Thiago Alcantara, Sergio Roberto and the much touted Rafael Alcantara have shown great patience in waiting for their time in the sun and deserve to wear the colours of the Blaugrana at the expense of Cesc Fabregas. All have immense potential and if groomed, in the way Iniesta and Messi were, they might turn out to be better than Fabregas. Barcelona have adopted a system built around its youth policy and discarding that policy just for one player wouldn’t be a prudent thing to do.

That leaves us with another question – Is it worth paying a huge sum of money to get a player who is unlikely to be in the starting line-up than spending the same amount strengthening other areas of the pitch? He is a world class player who deserves to start; something which might not be possible if he makes a move back to the Camp Nou. Barcelona would be doing a great disservice to world football if they make Cesc Fabregas spend some of his best years on the bench.

Fabregas is a proud Catalan and his return to Barca is inevitable, but now does not seem to be the right time. One thing is certain though – the tradition of the Barcelona number ‘4’ is in safe hands. Cesc will return eventually but till then, let us appreciate and marvel at his incredible talent…

  • Due to some database error this article, along with its comments, was deleted.

    Sorry for the inconvenience. The debate was just about to gather momentum before it met an unfortunate end.

    Well, let’s tackle Cesc Fabregas one more time…

  • Cesc is going nowhere until he turns 25. He is discerning enough to realise that presently he would not enjoy the same status at Barcelona, what he has at Arsenal.

    He is the Gunners’ Hero, captain, saviour, and may as well go on to become a legend.One premier league trophy with Arsenal would mean much more than a treble with Barca.

    Moreover, after the departure of CR7, Alonso el al, England cannot afford to lose one more star. Even after being the most competitive league in the world, players have preferred to join the La Liga powerhouses. It’s time the trend is turned on its head.

    Cesc, let Xavi hang his boots. Then we all know, where you would be heading. Till then, stay put and entertain us.

  • shady

    I guess Cesc will leave in another 2 years time or might be 3 years when Xavi and Iniesta get old…Busquets, Keita and Yaya are good rt now and all
    Barca need right now is a striker like Balotelli to replace Henry and they will have continuity for a long time to come.

    Barca look like a team with great continuity as of today with loads of youngsters coming thru but in 2-3 years time I am not sure how many youngsters will leave the squad due to saturation in the first team, that is when they need to look at someone like Cesc coming back or anyother young catalan who left the squad for lack of opportunities.

  • very nice read!! 😀 …. But you people are mssing the point, 5 years without a trophy at arsenal; how many more barren years will a man of his talent be ready to endure???

    Also dnt rily see arsenal moving forward anyways, their stubborn manager is too obsessed with his “project”

  • Luis

    @Shady… Barca need a striker? That too like Balotelli? :O Bojan Kirkic IMO is way better than Balotelli. Also, I believe Messi isnt going anywhere for next 10 years. He’s only 22 and has acquired a legendary status at Barca. I can only see him play the role of an out and out striker in the coming years.

    About Cesc… I think he’s in a catch 22 situation. These next 3 years are probably gonna be the most imporatant years of his life and even if he goes to barcelona he’d be no more than a sub for Xavi for the next 2-3 years atleast. Iniesta is still in his mid 20s and has played better football than Fabregas has in the last 2 seasons so Barca wouldn’t let him go or even think of replacing his position in the team.

  • crouchey

    He isn’t going anywhere right now – as simple as that.

  • Write articles, compare DNAs, make press conferences, worship Marca, praise Barca, whatever you do, Season 2010-11 WILL start with Cesc, our captain starting in Arsenal colours! ‘Enuff said.
    Can smbdy get me some coke please, it’s hot here? 😀

  • @Sounak: I don’t want to be the harbinger of bad news but the man who is the favourite to win come June 13th is a very close family friend of Cesc Fabregas. Sandro Rosell has already claimed that he has spoken to Cesc and his family and that a deal is in place to bring him ‘home’.
    Rosell was the vice president when Cesc left and was one of the most vocal when it came to persuading him to stay. He is said to be very close to the Fabregas family and is not averse to spending money, much to the apprehension of quite a few cules. I won’t be surprised to see Fabregas wearing the colours of the Blaugrana next year.

    @Shady: Barca don’t need a striker and they definitely don’t need a trouble maker like Balotelli. The system is such that it requires width to function and keeping that in mind we need a LW who can double up as a striker rather than a striker who can double up as a LW. Bojan, Jeffren and Pedro have all shown the ability to play that role and with experience should develop into good players. And then there is the next generation of strikers who are making waves in the academy – Ruben Rochina and Gael Etock. I’ll be doing an article on La Masia soon where I’ll touch on these youngsters. For now, a pacy winger and maybe a RB to serve as cover for Alves will do just fine.

  • Just to add on to the previous post – why I said we need an established winger when we already have the likes of Jeffren,Pedro and Bojan is beacuse neither of the three is ready to start on a regular basis.

    Pedro and Jeffren lack vision and tactical awareness and will take atleast another year before they can lay claim to a starting spot. Bojan is still learning the tricks of the trade and has aome while to go before he can command a starting spot. An established winger would be perfect for these youngsters as they can develop under a watchful eye much the same way Bojan and Pedro have matured under Henry.

    @Karan: While I agree with your point that he is far more important to Arsenal then he would be to Barca, I’d have to disagree with your statement that a title with Arsenal would mean much more than a treble/title with Barca. Anyone who remotely follows Barcelona and has followed the Cesc story would know how deeply attached Cesc is to Barca and the people there.

  • @ Jayant

    I said that with respect to his role at Arsenal, the team is built around him which would not be the case at Barca. The Arsenal team and Wenger have been subject to insense criticism – Wenger is stubborn as he does not strengthen the team and the young Gooners are still mentally incapable of handling pressure.

    So, if Cesc wins a title here with Arsenal, before moving to Barcelona, it would be his best and most satisfying achievement till date and may even eclipse whatever he may accomplish in Spain.

    Keeping these things in mind, I had made that comment.

  • @Jayant: you really think that friend of yours, err, I mean, Cesc’s can still bring him ‘home’ after this–>

  • First up let me make it clear that I’m a neutral when it comes to the Cesc transfer. If he comes back to the Camp Nou, it’ll be good for us coz it gives us a lot more options in mid field but even if doesn’t, it won’t mean the end of the world.

    @Sounak: Honestly a 3m payout and 110k a week is something you want to brag about? :)
    That would be peanuts for a top club in the current economic scenario. Rosell brought Gordinho to Barca so I don’t really think topping a 3m payout would be that difficult for him. Messi earns almost double of what Cesc earns and atleast 4 other Barca players earn more than what Arsenal have offered Cesc. I don’t think salary would be an issue. It is all about how serious Barca are about the whole saga and what Cesc wants to do about his future.

  • He who hesitates is a damned fool. Mae West (1892-1980)