Agreement made for Cesc Fabregas

After a somewhat tiresome transfer saga, Arsenal have accepted to sell Cesc Fabregas to Barça for a fee worth around €40 million. The deal is for five years until 2016. Cesc is currently flying to Barcelona where he will undergo a medical and most probably be presented tomorrow Saturday. There are plenty of reasons to question the wisdom of this deal especially as it may send the wrong message to some of the younger players coming through. The fact that Cesc chose to leave for London when he was just 16 perhaps can be forgiven on a personal basis. But for our 16-year-olds of today the route to making it as a player and to reaching our first team may now appear easier via the English Premier League. For a player like Thiago Alcantara it will also be a bit of a blow, though to be fair if you are going to be good enough for Barça you have to be the best and Thiago could well end up being precisely that and leaving Cesc on the bench.

The way we went about this transfer has also been put into question as it has been argued that we unethically unsettled the player. There may be some truth in this but I think the real villains have been the press who have spread rumours and encouraged our players to speak on the subject too many times when we were still a long way off an agreement. In the end it seems our tactics have irritated Arsenal into selling for under their valuation of the player. As I’ve said all along it seems Cesc is a more valuable asset to the Londoners, he is their captain after all, than he is to Barça, and I can understand their reluctance to allow the price to drop. But for Barça, at first sign, it is still a lot of money to spend on a player who wouldn’t get into the majority of culés’ first XIs.

However, it’s not all negative. At the end of the day we have obtained one of the best midfielders in the world and one who will have absolutely no problems needing to adapt to a new playing system, language, culture etc. Pep Guardiola seemed very keen on making the signing and perhaps we can understand this if we imagine ourselves in Pep’s position trying to decide on how he can possibly improve on things from last season: first up you have a fantastic first eleven (Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Abidal, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Villa) that it is practically impossible to improve on, then you have a great “number 12” in Mascherano, also impossible to improve on. It is only when you look at our numbers 13, 14 and 15 (I’m talking pecking order here, not shirt numbers) that it is possible to get stronger. Last season we might say the next three players in line were Adriano, Keita and Afellay and without any disrespect to these players they a small step below the level of the first twelve and thus our performance might be slightly affected when these players came into the team in place of one of the stars. The players we have signed this summer, Alexis and Cesc both look perfect now to give us a “first 14”,  to which if we add Thiago we now have a very powerful first 15. If we look at things like this we see we have a stronger squad than ever which we are going to need as we are chasing six titles this season.

Welcome Cesc, I’ve never much liked you in the past but I recognise you are a very good player. I hope you do great things at Barça and make us all fall madly in love with you.

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13 Responses to Agreement made for Cesc Fabregas

  1. BarcaCentralDiatus says:

    Hahaha…funniest article I have ever read from you Nic. much appreciate your honesty and I share the same view on this issue. In the end, I think this is a great buy. Cesc will absolutely positively make a difference. I am glad to see you look beyond the first 11 and I think that depth has been what almost … Almost kept us from being out of the CL last year. This time it seems Pep and Zubi are really going for quality instead of quantity like those guys in Madrid. I have no fear when it comes to the numbers on the Bench (Ibi Affelay, Keita, Thiago, Adriano, Masche, Alexis). This is great thing for Pep, as rotations will return and because of the incredible versatility of all of these players. Pep will be able to even try several systems in one game, depending on who is on the field. I do not think that Cesc’s signing will be a la Chygry, Ibrahimovic, Keiri or Hleb. I think Pep and Zubi got it right this time. Cesc will triumph at the Nou. It will be rough with some fans at first but it is just a matter of time before

  2. BarcaCentralDiatus says:

    Blackberry sucks…cut me off before I could finish…will comment later

  3. barcacentralroger says:

    I read a good article somewhere (can’t remember now) emphasising the age differences from Xavi to Iniesta to Cesc to Thiago, with something like four years between each, and that without Cesc that succession plan is broken. I am not over the moon that Cesc is back – and still pissed that he left in the first place (and also never came out when Madrid were making noises to say that he would never play for them), however I hope that having him in the team will allow us to rest Xavi more and prolong his career by even a few more years (he is still clearly struggling with that tendonitis).

    I am glad we can rotate more – the only sad thing thinking about the front four is that Leo may need to accept that he won’t win the Pichichi (with Ronaldo playing every game and getting every penalty, free kick and tap-in).

  4. Hilal says:

    I have always been against the transfer of Cesc because I never would have thought that we would get him for so cheap, and 29m Eur + incentives for a player of Cesc’s quality is an absolute steal. If he was on the open market willing to go to any club he would have sold for 50m+. The fact that we got him for less than 30m up front in cash is quite remarkable and frankly a testament to Rosell’s negotiationg tactics. We also got Sanchez for a bargain, another player who would have fetched 40-45m+ in an open market. Luckily for us these two players were only willing to play for Barca so it gave us the upper hand in negotiations.

    Cesc will add a lot to the squad and with both him and Sanchez we now have a quite remarkable team. It might still not be as deep as some other teams, but in terms of talent and ability I dont think anyone can come close. The fact that both these players were willing to take pay cuts and sacrifice money from their own pockets to play for us also shows a mentality that will fit right in with Pep and the rest of the players.

    We can now finally rest Xavi and Messi when they need it and I think that is vitally important. I also dont believe that the arrival of Cesc will hamper Thiago. Competition is good, especially healthy competition which is likely to be the case here. Thiago is still very young and while his ability is unquestionable he still has plenty to learn. There is an age gap between Thiago and Iniesta that needed to be filled and Cesc fills it.I see Cesc and Thiago being the future of the team, just as I saw Xavi and Iniesta being the future 4 or 5 years ago. We now have a team that has enough young talent to keep competing at the very highest levels for 5 or 6 more years. Just think, we now (barring injuries) will always have 3 world class players sitting on the bench. Most likely Sanchez, Cesc and Mascherano. Those are 3 players who would undoubtedly be starters in any team in the world and not only are they willing to sit on the bench but ALL 3 took a pay cut in order to do so.

    I hope people realise just how lucky we are!!

  5. Lockie17 says:

    Wow why so many negative comments? We have just signed a world class midfielder who along with Pique, Thiago and Messi the spine of our team for the future. Very good price as well! Seems as if Arsenal have got upset with Barca releasing this to the press and put the deal on hold, don’t believe Cesc is signing until next week? This will also enable us to rest Xavi-Iniesta -an busquets for less games and play Cesc-Thiago and Masch what a secod midfield!

  6. baracentralomer says:

    I was among the many people who were against this transfer initially and Nic’s summed up most of the reasons why we weren’t too keen on this deal going through. Having said that though, Pep wanted Fab all along and the favourable transfer terms we managed to negotiate mean we have to move forward now, trust Pep once again and be celebrating in May next year.

    Welcome back Cesc!

    I do think Thiago on current form should edge Cesc for a call-up to the starting xI

  7. Caleb says:

    I actually kind of hate the sound of having three players on the bench that would be starters in any other team. I don’t really like when teams hoard talent that they don’t really need.

    I am happy with the price. I – like Nic – hope this doesn’t send the wrong message to youngsters in the cantera.

    Hopefully Cesc himself can recover a decent level of fitness and be available to cover for Xavi.

    I guess I’m not super excited, but if Xavi does have problems staying fit this could prove to be huge for our season.

  8. barcacentralomer says:

    @Nic: Just wondering, I posted my comments last night and now they seem to have disappeared. My guess is the comments are awaiting moderation. Nice post Nic and for a change I am going to agree with you….:)

  9. FCB-Parbo says:

    I was one of so many that was angry at Cesc the moment he signed a long extended contract with Arsenal. Why had he done that, it was so crazy of him. That’s one of the reasons that made it very difficult during the negotiations. He was bound to his contract, period!

    Ah well, now he is a blaugrana and I will support him b’coz he is a great player. And we fans will always support him from now on, don’t we??

    It’s SSC time now. Here’s hoping that Mou leaves his dirty tactics behind him (I doubt that!). Gooooo BARCA, show them again who THE BOSS is!!!!

    Visca Barca!!!
    Forca Barca!!!

  10. Mike M says:

    Well, its still not official…

    But not over the moon if he does sign, 30 million is still quite a lot of money for a potential benchwarmer, and don’t forget that Cesc has had injury problems of his own, especially his hamstring… So if he signs hopefully he can rid himself of the injury problems he’s had and can fill in when the need arises. That being said all the midfielders will get good game time, seeing as though we are playing more than 55 games. and resting the players will be crucial during the season run in.

  11. Edward says:

    I’m certainly not doing a victory lap, but apparently we’ve signed Cesc for an absolute bargain. Here are some truisms:

    -We’ve signed one of the top 5 midfielders in the world (IMHO)
    -Signing Cesc WILL result is less playing time for Thiago
    -Our squad will be less vulnerable to injuries
    -We will have more fire-power from distance and more goals from midfield (including Thiago)
    -This may push Iniesta to the left forward position more often as he did two seasons ago. Can this, coupled with Alexis’ arrival, take pressure off of Messi?

    Welcome back Cesc

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