Cesc Fabregas stays on at Arsenal but only just!
This is the start of a long series of articles concentrating on the weekly affairs at Arsenal football club coinciding with the start of the new Barclays Premier League next week. The Gunners prepare for the start of the 2010-11 campaign with a final friendly trip to Poland to take on Legia Warsaw that kicks off an hour or so from now.
The past week had been all about club captain Cesc Fabregas’ return to the pre-season training from an extended holiday amidst all transfer rumours linking the Spaniard to a potential big money move to Barcelona. Arsene Wenger had been insisting on the player’s personal commitment to the club be made public so that the rumours surrounding Fabregas did not overshadow the North London club’s preparations for the upcoming season.
Cesc Fabregas did just that on Friday releasing an official statement on Arsenal’s official website and I tell you what, Arsenal fans can now breathe easy and Barcelona can go back and look for Cesc’s alternative which would be hard to find given the Spaniard’s unparalleled quality.
The official statement is as follows:
“Firstly I would like to apologise to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment.
“I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me. This was the club where I learnt my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing. There are not many players in this world who would not want to play for Barcelona.
“I have had many conversations with Arsène Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal.
“I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me.
“I owe a lot to the Club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal.
“I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 percent focused on playing for Arsenal.
“I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about.
“I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me.”
Few things are clear from this statement. Barcelona is a club that would always follow Cesc Fabregas and vice versa and the Emirates faithful should be ready for Fabregas’ departure a year from now if not the January transfer window depending on how Arsenal fair in their quest for silverwares. A lot would depend on the personal relationship between Fabregas and Wenger, whom the former considers to be his second father. Many things had been discussed privately between the two and it would not be surprising if the French manager had assured his captain of silverwares this season and that means a big ambition for the coming season.
But Arsenal fans do need to keep their fingers crossed on Cesc Fabregas and of course the focus is surely now on the business on the field that gets underway a week on Sunday at Anfield against Liverpool.
Arsenal do need to bring in some more reinforcements before the transfer window shuts and one understands that Arsene Wenger is on the search for a centre back and may be a world class goalkeeper. Although in a pre-match interview before the Legia Warsaw game Mr. Wenger had hinted that he is happy with his four goalkeepers but inside he knows that a strong shotstopper would be ideal for an assault on the Premier League title.
The transfer speculations keep on coming as every year before the start of a season and fresh reports suggest the Gunners have launched an audacious twenty five million pound bid for Liverpool’s Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Time will tell whether the reports are true but do not be surprised if Arsenal welcomes new faces before August 31. As of now, given the situation, Arsenal are set to travel to Merseyside with a weakened squad as Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie and Niclas Bendtner are doubtful given their long season because of the World Cup.
Yet Liverpool will have a hard time to contend with the Gunners as the Reds themselves are in uncertain territory over the club’s ownership and also on-field new manager Roy Hodgson is struggling to assemble a decent enough team due to injuries and departures. As always a Liverpool-Arsenal Premier League clash would be hard to miss on a Sunday evening.
Let the action begin!