WTTGT Writer: Matt Mace
Between them, the duo of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri are two of the most creative midfielders in world football. Whether it is captain Fabregas’ array of passing delicacies or Nasri’s mesmeric dribbling, these midfielders were always first on the team sheet when available.
Now of course they are not. Despite gaining around £55-60m for their endeavours, most of the Arsenal faithful have been left with a sour taste in their mouth after the departures of these two virtuosos. I’m sure many are also tired of reading article upon article of negativity aimed at their beloved club. However, it is pointless to lie and say that all is well with club when evidently the Gunners went into an already ‘season defining’ match against Udinese, only four games into this campaign. Yet, depending on whether Arsène Wenger can bring in adequate replacements, then the duo’s departure could have a telling significance on the short and long term future of the club.
Firstly let’s get the negativities out the way.
Clearly the departures of Cesc and Samir have left a distinct lack of quality on the pitch that has become painfully obvious in the first four matches of the season where Arsenal have only found the net on three occasions. Obviously the likes of van Persie and Wilshere who haven’t featured much this season hasn’t aided Arsenal’s attacking competence; but there is still a massive creative void that needs to be filled at the Emirates. Some may believe that Wenger already has the players at his disposal to fill this void; others feel reinvestment is the key.
Not only is there a lack of quality in the dressing room, but also a lack of big name players. Arsenal fans have been screaming out for the “marquee” signing and it has become all the more vital now. If players aren’t brought in, then how long before the likes of van Persie, Vermaelen and Wilshere have their heads turned by guarantees of silverware at other clubs. It is imperative that these players remain at the club to allow the younger less experienced players an easier transgression into the first team.
A question as to whether Arsenal is a selling club has always been asked by pundits and it now appears that there is overwhelming evidence to state that this is the case. If players such as Fabregas and Nasri are merely using this club as a stepping stone to greater things, then how long will it be until the likes of Joel Campbell, Héctor Bellerín and John Toral decide that they’ve developed their games well enough at Arsenal and now feel that it’s time to move on?
On the subject of these young players, all of whom have been described by Wenger as prospects, how long has he been planning for the future? When the likes of Fabregas, van Persie, Diaby and Flamini were being ‘blooded’ in the first-team, Wenger said that that squad would be ready in about three or four years’ time. Four years later only van Persie and the disappointing Diaby remain and a new batch of youngster fresh off of the never ending conveyer belt at Arsenal is now ready to be ‘blooded’.
However, it’s not all bad – I’m not trying to bash Arsenal. With the sale of Fabregas and Cesc come positives for Arsenal fans to mull over.
The most notable point is the money that can be reinvested into the club. The reported £55-60m can be used to buy replacements or be reinvested in important areas. I for one don’t believe that Arsenal need to purchase another goalkeeper, but the defence does need a total revamp. A midfielder in Hazard’s mould and a ‘fox in the box’ (not Francis Jeffers) can turn this squad into world beaters.
Whilst the quality of the team could suffer with these departures one thing that shouldn’t is the clubs mentality. During their time at the club Samir and Cesc never won anything of real significance and therefore that winning mentality, which Arsenal so desperately need, hasn’t left the club. So with these two gone players like Roma’s De Rossi who has a World Cup to his name can add the bite and mentality that has been missing ever since Vieira left.
Many have also stated that Arsenal already have readymade replacements for Nasri and Fabregas in the form of Wilshere and Ramsey. I personally see Ryo Miyaichi having a big impact in the wide areas where Nasri was deployed, as long as he’s given the chance. Whilst people will have their doubts as to whether or not the likes of Miyaichi and Ramsey are ready (although if you recall the Welshman’s performance in the Champions League against Fenerbahçe a few years back then he most certainly is) you cannot argue they have the ability to fill that void in Arsenal’s midfield.
Finally, when has Arsène been wrong about selling players before? Players such as Henry, Vieira, Flamini and Hleb may have achieved more in terms of silverware than the current crop of Arsenal players but there is no doubt that their performances dropped. And with Fabregas and Nasri, who were used to being the star players at Arsenal, now finding a lot of competition for places at City and Barca respectively, who’s to say that these two won’t struggle to get game time for their new clubs.
That could be the slightest bit of redemption for the disillusioned Arsenal fans.
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