Belfast Telegraph

Cesc Fabregas more crucial for Arsenal than Ronaldo was to United

By David Healy

For Arsenal fans it may be tough to accept, but I fear they are going to lose Cesc Fabregas.

Of course Arsenal will want to keep their star man, their captain, their leader and their inspiration but once a player says he wants to leave, normally there is no other option.

Football history is littered with cases where an influential player has said it is time to move on and no matter the contract situation, that is exactly what happens.

Arsenal fans don’t have to think back too much to recall Thierry Henry going to Barcelona. Now Fabregas is set to take the same path.

And although I’m sure some Gunners fans will disagree, it is hard to blame him.

Players can only give so much to a club and if success is not forthcoming , despite all that effort, they will think about going elsewhere to win the medals they crave.

Look at Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres at Liverpool. For that very reason they have been subject to intense transfer speculation lately and will be all summer.

For Fabregas moving on to a club who can offer him a chance of lifting trophies is not the only temptation.

With Barcelona, that’s where he started out and it is where his best mates play.

It also happens to be the club where several of the best players in the world perform.

I’ve always thought that Fabregas would return to the Nou Camp one day.

The only question was when.

The answer is likely to be sooner than most of the Arsenal supporters would like.

There is a real dilemma here for Arsene Wenger.

He wants his top player to stay more than anyone because he knows what he brings to the team.

And there’s no doubt that Arsenal could hike the price up to such a point that it becomes impossible for Barcelona, but would they really want an unhappy player on their hands because if Fabregas is forced to stay, he may find it difficult to get over.

Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid 12 months ago and not even Sir Alex Ferguson

could stop him, though United did get £80 million in exchange.

Ronaldo is of course a world class player and was sensational for United, but at times it became a one man show.

They missed his goals this season but they still challenged for honours.

I believe Fabregas is more important to Arsenal than Ronaldo was to United.

He is instrumental in how Arsenal play their attractive brand of football. When he is injured, they have struggled.

A sale, though, would provide Arsene Wenger much finance.

It would be up to him to spend it extremely wisely to adequately replace his inspirational skipper.

Belfast Telegraph


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