I’m sure that this will get me into hot water with a few Gunners fans, but it’s worth discussing. It’s a fairly important part of not just Barcelona’s plans for the future and Arsenal’s plans for the present, but also the entire concept of how teams approach the concept of a transfer season. Politics, as always, play a huge part in this little game, especially from Barça’s perspective.
Apparently Arsene Wenger sent a message in writing to both Barcelona and Real Madrid demanding they cease discussing any potential Cesc Fabregas transfer in the coming summer, saying that he isn’t making statements that Messi or Kaka should sign for Arsenal in the coming weeks. There are, of course, interesting side notes to be made about such a statement, which, on the surface, is a perfectly valid statement coming from a manager attempting to protect what he and his club view as their primary asset.
Naturally such a statement from Wenger makes most cules laugh because of the obvious point that Cesc is a product of Barça’s youth academy who, because of a discrepancy in laws between Spain and England, jumped ship for the opportunity to earn more money at an earlier age than he otherwise would have. Exploiting a loophole in the law is, of course, perfectly legal and can sometimes be perfectly acceptable from a moral standpoint, but if that’s what Wenger did in luring both Cesc and later Fran Merida from Barça’s youth ranks–if it’s merely exploiting a loophole–then unsettling Cesc Fabregas is nothing more than exploiting a situation for personal gain and as long as no laws are broken, I find it laughable that Arsenal is on any firmer territory than Barcelona.
That personal gain I mentioned is, at least for Barça, in the form of a presidential election coming up this summer. Cesc, because he’s a native Catalan and a Barça youth product who made it big, has become the dangling carrot for those who want to take over from Joan Laporta. It just happens to have a back end tax of thirty plus million euros, of course, but hey, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? What’s apparent from Wenger’s statements is that he’s afraid that a richer club with a strong connection to a player can actually unsettle someone who has been made captain at a club he’s contracted to until 2016. Sounds like Arsenal swooping in for a young player who has questions about his future at the club and wants to earn money in the immediate future, right?
Another part of Wenger’s fear, beside losing a key member of his squad, may be that he’s obligated to spend a large portion of whatever money he receives, meaning that the sale of Cesc would lead to several new players arriving and that would further unsettle his squad, which he appears to have a lot of confidence in. Personally, I’m inclined to pass on Cesc because, while he’s a fantastic player, he’s prohibitively expensive, is obviously being used as a political tool, and chose to make his name beyond the confines of the Camp Nou. Let him, then, continue on his path to whatever glory he believes awaits him with Arsenal (and I’m the kind of guy that wishes him plenty of it). Instead of spending more than €30m on a player from our own cantera, let him become an Arsenal legend and we’ll promote JDS and Thiago over the coming years at the massive cost of €0 in transfer fees. Perhaps they are not as good as Cesc and perhaps they never will be, but loyalty to the club should be paid back in this case with loyalty to the player, especially considering the talent those two have exhibited. It makes good business sense and is also a good example to set for our young ones.