The omnipresent Fabregas question: A poll

[polldaddy poll=4843732]

At the request of Diego, here’s the Fabregas poll, with a few words from me about the situation:

–No, this isn’t an invitation to trolls. It is an attempt to respond to a reader request, and get a public feeling on the notion.

–I’m against the purchase in every way, shape and form. Might he develop into a Xavi-like player? Maybe. Xavi wasn’t Xavi when he was young, right? There is no question that Fabregas is a world-class player. But the more pertinent question is whether a team stuffed with world-class and potentially world-class players, all at his position, should spend at least 50m (no way will Arsenal sell for a penny less) for what is, right now, a vanity purchase.

–If he is purchased now, even for those who would like to purchase him, where/when does he play? When we promote Thiago to the first team, that’s yet another quality midfielder who will need time (Copa matches, etc.) to develop. Add Fabregas to that rotation, and what happens then?

–At the end of his contract, if and when Arsenal are willing to sell and he wants to buy, by then we will know how much more Xavi we have, whether Iniesta or Busquets will be the next Xavi, and how good Thiago is going to be. We will also see how Fabregas develops, but playing time will help that development, not sitting on our bench as a vanity purchase.

I’m done. What about y’all?

By Kxevin

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. I don’t see an actual poll. Is it my messed-up connection lately not loading the page properly, or are we supposed to say YES or NO in the comments?

    Either way I agree with Jose. Spend tons on him, and this soon? No way. Years down the line when his contract is winding down, if he doesn’t extend and allows us to get him for very little since it would be either what we pay or losing him for free the following year, then get him by all means, especially since that will be in three years by which time Xavi WILL be rather getting on in age. He is quality and while I would dislike a deal on principle, that sort of quality at a near-contract-runout price of 15 mil or so would be an absolute steal and it would make sense to get him then.

    If the question is about buying him in the summer, no, and no in any situation.

    1. Oh no the timings of the posts are getting weird again. Crap. Also I saw the poll now. Voted.

  2. What message does it send to the rest of Masia players?

    For that reason alone it is NO

  3. Voted. Ignoring the rest of the discussion. 😛

    How about that Abidal, eh?!? Already suiting up and coming in to practice? Amazing!

    1. Just wanted to add here, that if Abi is already well enough for mild exertion, then we can be pretty certain that the biopsy came back positive, ie. no cancer. Otherwise he would be getting radiation and/or drugs and wouldn’t look anywhere near that healthy. Yay!

  4. On Xavi:

    Ask David Villa — whose next goal, his 45th, will break the Spanish national team all-time scoring record — what it was that Xavi said to him to calm his anxiety at joining Barça’s thoroughbred attacking stars this season.

    At one stage, it appeared that the harder Villa ran, the more he either ran offside or into frustration. “Run less,” Xavi told him. “The ball will find you.” A classic exchange between two men, one the pathfinder, the other the finisher.

  5. I border on no, but I voted for the right price and time. That being years from now when his contract is either up, or almost up, and Arsenal has to sell him to us or risk getting nothing. If he is still up to his level, and is willing to force the issue (that is, only accept a transfer to us), and we could use him as a starter or sub, then sure, make the transfer.

    If he signs an extension or puts Barca in a position where we’d have to pay upwards of 30M to buy him, then forget it.

    1. I’m with you Jose! Free or almost free transfer, and several years from now. And if he signs another extension, well then he can’t be that homesick.

  6. I voted for no, even though it’s more the right price/time. The thing that bothers me about Cesc was he left us during our hard times, to go to Arsenal during their glory times. Now that Arsenal are in a rough patch, and we’re glowing he wants to come back?

    There’s no loyalty there, to either club! Only a desire for trophies. If he were to come on a free in 3 years (right?), I’d be okay with that. He wouldn’t slot into the first team then or now. If he wants to come over on a free then, and enjoy the bench, that’s fine. But who knows, by then we might have an even finer prospect than he was.

    Basically, no unless it’s a free.

  7. voted…
    if the price/time is right…

    cause this transfer saga nonsense has been discussed like million times,
    no further comments from me about this., 😉

  8. This makes me sad:

    Tw Jeffren: “I’ve gone a bit missing, but I’m waiting for a new chance!!! Greetings to all” #fcblive [@jeffren11]


  9. Xavi :
    “But I think that a footballer ends up playing where he wants. Cesc has to end up here.
    You know, often footballers don’t think. We’re selfish, we don’t realise. I also say it because I’m thinking of
    Cesc. He wants to come here.

    Barcelona has always been his dream. But of course he’s Arsenal’s captain, the standard bearer, a leader. This situation is a putada [bummer] for him.

    Look, the truth is : I want him to come here. Of course.”

    everyone in the club (except some like Thiago and Ibi I guess), want him to come…

    there’s a life outside football pitch, things like friendship and life history…
    that’s what we’re dealing with…

  10. Short answer: No.

    Long answer:

    The guy jumped at the first opportunity to leave for more playing time. That is understandable. But there are players who would prefer to play 5 minutes at Barca, than 90 minutes elsewhere. Those are the kinds of players we should keep around. By buying Cesc back, we’ll be setting an awful example for our cantera players.

    Yes, Pique left. But he came back for a measly sum of money, and, (more importantly in my opinion) when the club was in dire straits. What did Fabregas do when his contract was running out at Arsenal? He signed an extention. This isn’t someone we want to pay 50mil+ for.

    Sure he wants to return now. The team is in sparkling form, and is being coached by his idol.

    But where was Cesc when things weren’t looking so great?

  11. I voted yes for a number of reasons: (1) Fabregas is a world class player who will end up in la liga next season either at barca (his preferred choice)or grudgingly at madrid.If he ends up at madrid, he will be very motivated to prove a point to barca. Better to spend that money to keep him than let him go to madrid.
    2)Xavi’s playing time will naturally decline over the next couple of years. Fabregas seem like the natural clone of Xavi. Having that replacement in place doesn’t hurt.
    3) We should avoid the vacuum left behind when Pep left at a time that Xavi wasn’t ready. The same will happen if we suddenly thrust the responsibility to Thiago and co.
    4)Fabregas is ours and we are emotionally connected with him. Let our current success not bread that air of arrogance of we-are-doing-him-a-favor-after-all-we-don’t-need-him mentality. A great team can always find improvement, fabregas will uniquely help us.

    1. 1) He won’t go to Madrid. He’ll end up staying at Arsenal. Even going to the likes of Chelsea or City would be more likely than Madrid imo.
      2) Fabregas plays probably much closer to Xavi than most midfielders in the game, but he is nowhere near a Xavi clone. He plays as an attacking midfielder, not a deeper dictator of play, much further forward, and he is more dynamic and driving as opposed to controlling tempo from deep.
      4) He did ditch us though, didn’t he… Though I agree, purely logically if we can get him for cheap he is such quality that he’d be a great buy. For 50 mil, no way. Not even for 40, 35 or 30 mil.

  12. I think the Poll is not specific enough to express reality. The “If the price/time is right” kind of damage it. What is the right value people here are voting for? If for 10 Million I may consider 😀 I think all those who voted “No” will reconsider as well. 20 M? 30 M? 40 m? 75 Wenger smile?

  13. The day before Saturday’s supposedly easy-peasy home clash against Sporting in la Liga, the positively pre-cog Madrid manager seemed to sense that there was a strange whiff of trouble in the air, a feeling of impending doom, a rumble in the tummy that the weekend’s clash was not going to go the same way as the other 22 matches played at the Bernabeu this season that all ended with a Real Madrid victory.,17033,9405_6852322,00.html

    In regards to Fabregas I will repeat my stance on the matter for those of you who don’t know it. Do I think purchasing him would be setting a bad example to the youth in the B-team or further down? No. Is every player churned out by La Masia going to be Cesc? No. If a youth wants to test his mettle abroad then I say, “do it! You can wind up like Gio dos Santos or Fran Mérida.”

    Do I think we should purchase him now? No, of course not. I don’t care that he’s constantly shooting puppy dog eyes in Barcelona’s direction because he’s missing his best friends. That money’d be better spent elsewhere.

  14. Sid Lowe:

    Madrid have been beaten by Osasuna and Sporting 1-0, and have drawn with Mallorca, Levante and Deportivo 0-0, as well as drawing 1-1 with Almería. That’s 14 dropped points against teams that are all lower than ninth; teams that waited, that in Mourinho’s words “defend, defend, defend”. It is not easy to break sides down but with Madrid’s budget and Madrid’s demands, you have to. “There’s no defence,” moaned mad Madridista Tomás Roncero.

    Only there is. It is the attack that is the problem. The attack and the opponent. “If I wanted to draw 0-0, I could have,” Mourinho said. Anywhere else, he might have been able to. But not in Spain. As he rightly noted, in this league a 0-0 is a bad result, given the ludicrously high points totals being racked up by Barcelona.

    And also this made me laugh:

    Oh, Espanyol. What have you done. You silly, silly people.

    1. Seriously, what happened to Espanyol? Is their striker Osvaldo still injured? Sevilla just went ahead of them, with Athletic and Atletico soon to follow.

      And who knew that Levante of all teams has had the best 2nd half of the season after the big two?

  15. For the record, i totally agree with kevin on this one, im against the purchase in any way, form or shape, even for freeeeeee., and its true a picture is worth a thousand words, credit to Ramzi.

  16. Isn’t the “the price/time will never be right” option is the same as “no”? It’s kinda the reason why people will vote no, because the price will never be right. I think the option in the poll needs to be more specified.

    For the record I voted yes.

  17. Loged in to vote and have my say.


    Not at the cost of Thiago and upcoming youths. Already we had to push Thiago to B team when Affelay arrived. And you know we are probably going to lose some of our youths if Cesc comes, cause they think Barca can always buy them back.

  18. Speaking of Cesc:

    Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was involved in a minor car accident on Monday but did not suffer any serious injury, a police source said.
    The accident occurred on the A41 road in Hendon, northwest London, not far from the club’s training ground.
    “Police were called at 9.53 a.m. this morning to reports of a collision between two cars on the A41,” a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said.
    “No one required hospital treatment. Just a prang.”
    (Reporting by Michael Holden, Editing by Mark Meadows)

  19. My first instinct is no, but after thinking about it, I changed it to if the time/price is right.

    If we’re being utterly pragmatic, could Barcelona someday need/use him? Absolutely, he’s a quality player. But we can’t get him now, not for the amount Arsenal are going to ask. (Side note: I think, if we’re having this discussion, we should be clear that Arsenal are entirely within their rights to ask for an amount like that, given how inflated the English transfer market is right now. Compare Cesc Fabregas to the current Fernando Torres, who went for 50 million, and you can see Arsenal’s point.)

    I also have to say, I think it’s easy–and unfair–to paint Fabregas as some kind of mercenary traitor who turned his back on Barcelona. Let’s not forget people, Gerard Pique wasn’t getting ANY kind of real playing time at Man United, which probably made his decision to return to Barcelona much, much easier. Fabregas, on the other hand, was a guaranteed starter, eventual captain, and no matter what he feels about Barcelona, it’s also clear that he loves playing for Arsenal as well. I don’t really see the need to judge him for that.

    1. I’m with you on most of these points. My ‘trouble’ with Fabregas isn’t about his quality as a player or about his perceived status as a ‘Judas.’ I watch Arsenal fairly regularly, and I think he’s pretty class. I also see the value in having him come in while Xavi is still playing fairly regularly. I don’t even think that him coming here would mean Thiago would automatically be on the bench all the time.

      Where it all breaks down for me is the amount of money. I can understand why Arsenal would demand so much, considering how much money flies around the English transfer market, but it’s still ludicrous. Considering the other short-comings in the squad, it just doesn’t seem like a practical purchase.

  20. No for the time being. It just wouldn’t be fair to Thiago and Afellay.

    Off topic: Toronto FC (local club) has brought in some dutch coaching staff who are determined to bring the Tiki Taka to Toronto. Apparently they are switching to a 4-3-3 and are going to be playing a possession focused game. I have a feeling this one of those things that will either turn out either bad or terrible.

    Still I’m ecstatic to see how far Barcelona’s influence has come…

    1. As a Toronto fan, I am thrilled! Also a little dubious. I’m taking a “we’ll see how it goes” attitude. Still, it’s got to be an improvement, no?

    2. poor guys, Toronto are terrible! and DeRo is gone.. Toronto scored 4 the first week though right? That was a huge surprise.

  21. Lehman is no muppet:

    MUNICH – Jens Lehmann has filed a lawsuit demanding compensation from fellow goalkeeper Tim Wiese of Werder Bremen for telling a television audience Lehmann belonged in the “Muppet Show.”

    Lehmann recently came out of retirement to return to Arsenal. While working as a television commentator in September, Lehmann criticized Wiese’s performance in a Champions League match against Tottenham.

    Wiese responded a day later in a newspaper by saying Lehmann should “go to the Muppet Show” and be treated “on a couch.”

    Lehmann is demanding 20,000 Euros (C$27,434) for having his “personal rights violated.”

    A Munich court will hear the case this week.

    1. LOL 😀

      I watched it live, when Lehmann criticized Wiese. Lehmann is crazy, as a player and sometimes as a person^^

    2. I see Animal every time I try and picture Lehmann. I’m more of a Statler and Waldorf sort of guy, though.

  22. Oh my God!

    What the heck is going on in South America?
    The CONMEBOL seriosuly wants to invite the Spanish national team to the Copa 2011 if Japans withdraws.
    It would not only reduce Messi’s chances to finally win a major trophy with the senior Argentina national team, but also mean another summer without a longer pause for all the Spanish internationals!
    The idea was published today, so it cannot even be an April Fool’s joke :/

    Anyway, Spain will never accept this offer, right?

    1. Japan beat Argentina the last time they played, I was hoping to see the “revenge match” at la Copa!

      I’m a huge fan of la Furia Roja, but Xavi surely deserves a rest after Euro’08, Confederations Cup ’09, and WC’10. I hope this comes to nothing.

    2. I’ve heard this before- that Japan might not be going to the copa, etc. But I don’t understand- how can a team from another continent compete in a South American regional tournament?

    3. Its an invitation Japan is getting from the Copa committe. I believe they invite 1 outsider team each time.

    4. Yeah, but so far they did indeed only invite outsiders, Spain would be THE top favourite…^^

  23. What?!? Why the hell was Japan invited in the first place? Besides there are three countries on the actual continent of South America how are never invited. Why not start with them?

    1. A higher profile team brings higher TV ratings.
      Also, TNT, Suriname, French Guiana, and Guyana are all in Concacaf.
      I guess they figure the plane flights are easier.

      Conmebal only has 10 members so they want more games so they need more teams.

  24. Why are some saying that their will never be a right time and place? For me in a few years Cesc can be crucial to our game and I really see him dictating our midfield in the future. And the price should be a little lower then it is now.

    He left because he he realized that the amount of playing time he would get would be next to nothing. He needed time to develop his skills and learn the game. I dont think that takes away any of his love towards Barca. As we constantly learn their is no loyalty in football.

  25. I’ve heard today that they will invite Costa Rica, but La Roja would of course be a more glamourous name.

    On an other note: did anybody see King Eric with his training kit on today during training?
    He looked so good.

    Any news on Pedro!? Will he be fit for Wednesday?

    Seems that due to Khedira and Özil La Liga is becoming more popular here in Germany as they will show the CDR-finale in free TV. Normaly there is no coverage for La Liga in German TV.

  26. No!!

    I cannot but laugh at people saying Fabregas’ arrival wouldn’t hinder the chances for the youth or for Thiago for that matter… He is no freaking Milito to sit the bench and watch the kids play ahead of him!!

    Some one dragged Pique into the mud too… Seriously!? The main reason attributed to Pique leaving is the background political aspects. Okay let’s do say he got his head turned by the money offered by the English, which is again laughable because he’s pretty stacked up anyway. Whatever the reason he did leave though, what are the circumstances in which he returned!? Not when we were winning trophies left and right! Not when his previous club is in trophy draught!! But it was one of the darkest periods of our club history! And his previous club were being hailed the best club in the world, who had world’s best player playing for them!! you might say the playing time issues…yeah right about that! Fergi valued him a lot. He just had ageing Ferdinand and Vidic ahead of him. If you didn’t know he played in CL for Utd in his last season for them. Now coming to Barca he had Puyi, Marquez and Milito(he was injured then though, but once fit there was no doubt as to who would play more). We also bought Caceres, the most shining young defender in the league that time. So effectively Pique had more stumble blocks to overcome at Barca than at Utd, at least on paper!! It’s more his love than anything else that made him return, same can’t be said about Fabregas… So the next time please stop dragging Pique into this issue

    Money that needs to be offered to get his signature ain’t right for the limited role he’d play here

    There’s this serious issue about Arsenal players too. They do well when they are the undisputed starters at their club… But when they go to their national teams and don’t enjoy the same air of dominance on others they chicken out, you know the bigfishsmallpond types. Except Henry I’m having serious trouble in picking out players(belonging to the later generations) who did well for their respective NT. Adding to this theory, when was the last time a player that Wenger has sold made it big at his new club!? Flamini, Adebayor, Gleb, etc have all been the same; stars at Arsenal, not so much at their new clubs and all of them had to eat dust! And you know what Cesc Fabregas ain’t going to be no star here!!

    1. Stop being so hateful.
      Was Xavi the star of Spain NT before Euro 2008?
      Iniesta? Puyol?

  27. At the end of all that rant… Give it two or three years. It is an ample amount of time to check on how the youngsters would develop, check on what Afellay’s got to offer. Xavi definitely has legs to carry for that period with bit help from the aforementioned kids & Afellay. If every thing does not turn out as is hoped then bring him back. Shouldn’t cost too much because he’ll be nearing the end of his contract.

    If Barca & being with friends is all that he wants and not the trophies, i.e., if he is indeed not a glory hunter, he should wait till then without renewing his contract AGAIN or opting to move to some other club. It would be a win-win situation really, we still stick to our principle of giving chance for our youth and he gets to prove his loyalty!!

  28. I’ve moved on to Shakhtar, and Cruijff saying that this is going to be a very hard tie, and that EE will progress against Spurs no problem, but he isn’t that sure about us.

    He’s kinda right. I’m verrrrrrrrry worried. I’d be less worried if we had our captain, and our French Greyhound. I also don’t like opening the tie at home, even if we will probably have Captain Caveman back for the away leg, where he will be needed most.

    P.S. Abidal is about 6,234,443 kinds of awesome.


    1. I’m bulging out my eyes like that little kid sitting behind Puyi and Pique in that one Arsenal match. Wow.

    2. It’s like Abidal is teaching the trainer how to walk. “Cock your head like this, so you look badass. And dip your shoulders, with fists tight at your sides. Now strut!”

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