Friday, July 29, 2011

More Summertime Ramblings

Arsenal are being heavily linked with a couple of pricey moves- for Everton's Phil Jagielka and Valencia's Juan Mata.

The news suggests that a Fabregas move is only a matter of time. There is no way Wenger would spend 15 million on Jagielka and 20 on Mata, on top of the 10 on Gervinho, if there was not a substantial amount coming in.

If I may speculate, the plan is probably this: push through those two moves and, if Barcelona offer around 40 million, send Cesc home.

It's hard to see Fabregas staying any longer even if Arsenal have to compromise and accept a bit less. Wenger wants to get what the player is worth, but he has never been a man to hold onto an unhappy player and Fabregas clearly doesn't want to hang around anymore.

It's a strange situation. He's by far Arsenal's best and most important player, and he would walk into any team in the world- except Barcelona. Barcelona are being asked to spend 40 million on player who would in all likelihood warm the bench for much of the next season or two. You can understand their reluctance to pay big bucks, but they have engineered this situation. They could have waited a year or two to make their move, and then Xavi would be at an age where he would probably welcome some bench time himself. Instead, they have waged a relentless campaign to unsettle a player they want but don't really need. Fabregas's desire to go home and win some medals is palpable, but I'd love it if he realised that Barcelona are being disrespectful to both him and Arsenal, and decided to hang about for one last tilt at the title with the Gunners. I'd certainly rather Fabregas stay one more year and leave for 40 million than Nasri stay one more year and leave for nothing. Sadly, it seems the latter is much more likely.

Jagielka- a good player. He has Premiership experience and that, more than anything, is what Arsenal need at the back. Again, it seems Wenger has decided against bringing in a more physically imposing centre back. Samba and Cahill may be bigger men but Jagielka is a better player and his name alongside those of Vermaelen, Djourou and Koscielny makes up, on paper at least, a very strong quartet of central defenders.

But don't be surprised if both of these mooted deals fall through. This is Arsene's Arsenal after all.

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