The Return of Cesc? Thank Wenger The Wily Dog

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
May 31st, 2013

Wenger you wily old dog you.

This is as much a Wenger loving post as it is a Cesc one. Rumours are rife regarding the return of Cesc to Arsenal and pretty much all Gooners agree that this would be a good thing.

I do not claim to know the details of Fabregas’ transfer to Barcelona and don’t want to get into the “he forced his way out” stuff. From where I was sat all I could see was a player desperate to go to one team and one team only. As a business person, in fact just as an ordinary bloke, I can tell you that this put us in a very weak negotiation position.

For Arsenal to sell their crown jewel for £35m in a market that sees Carroll go for the same was a bitter pill for me to swallow. This and only this is/was my gripe with Cesc but it wasn’t only with Cesc; it was with Arsenal too. I felt they could have put a stick in the ground and said £50m or no deal but they didn’t. That’s over and done with now and we’ve moved on as such.

Coming home?

Coming home?

So, back in the present day and after almost a week of some Gooners tearing their hair out and raising their own blood pressure at the thought of Cesc going to United, news has “broken” that Arsenal have first refusal etc.

Cast your memories back to the time we sold Cesc and try to remember the sneers directed at Arsène and the board for dragging their heels over Cesc.

“They knew he was going so why wait so long to buy a replacement”

“Well, they needed to make sure he was sold first, we can’t afford to buy players we don’t need”

“Yeah but we knew he was going to go so why take so long over the negotiations”

“Well, Wenger insisted on a buyback clause”

“Buyback clause, what a waste of time, Cesc is never coming back here”.

Remember that? I do. At the time I wasn’t concerned about buyback clauses et al. I was concerned about selling the best midfielder of his generation for what I considered to be a pittance. How wrong I was, how foolish I was to question our savant manager.

Epictetus once said:

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.

Most of us know Wenger fell on his sword for Arsenal a long time ago to aid our transition to our state-of-the-art new home. Now it seems, in the search for improvements, he was willing to paint himself the fool for us too.

Putting all of the reported clauses into the Fabregas sale may yet turn out to be Wenger’s greatest ever transfer deal.

Wenger knows? You know it bitches

Wenger knows? You know it bitches

The reports suggest Arsenal have not only a first-refusal clause but a 50% sell on clause and a buyback clause of £20-25m. If that is true then that is an amazing piece of business and something no other deal can match or will be able to match in the future, you can bet on that and get matched free bets to boot.

When Arsenal sold Fabregas and even during the 2 year tap up by Barcelona I repeatedly said, as did many others, Fabregas would not “fit” at Barcelona and he was better off waiting a few more years. I felt that Barca didn’t need him and he was only being pursued because they wanted a marquee signing and he fit the bill with an added tick because of his birthplace.

Wenger clearly saw the same thing and probably a little bit more. Did he see Cesc struggling to be the starter he was for Arsenal and maybe wanting a move back home (his real home) just as Arsenal have the cash to do so? I wouldn’t put it past him.

We all know that Cesc wanted to play for Barcelona and especially for Pep Guardiola and he got his wish. He’s had his fill now so maybe it’s time to come back to Arsenal.

Had enough?

Had enough?

What is so amazing about the potential return of Cesc is that he fits almost every bill that Arsenal need.

  • He is world-class – TICK – fans appeased
  • He is creative – TICK – the team needs more creativity
  • He fits at Arsenal – TICK – he isn’t a gamble
  • He is cheap – TICK – Coffers remain mostly full

Cheap might seem a little off but if the reports are true then he would be cheap. If Arsenal have a 50% sell on clause AND a buyback clause of £20-25m AND first-refusal then any club wishing to purchase Cesc would require a bid of £40-50m just to match Arsenal. If Arsenal were willing to go up to the price we sold him for then other clubs would need to bid a whopping £70m just to match us AND we’d get half of that fee if we decided to step aside.

I’m sceptical that all of those clauses exist together but even individually they are potent enough for the pendulum of favour to swing in our direction.

There are other factors to consider too. Barcelona owes Arsenal money for Cesc in add-ons for winning trophies as well as owing us money on the Song transfer and his add-ons too. There is also the will of the management at Barcelona to consider too. Is Cesc needed at Barcelona? Is he wanted? Maybe, maybe not but according to those who know more about Barcelona than I, they are looking to make some purchases this summer and also want to trim the squad a bit.



The return of Cesc doesn’t seem so far-fetched now and coincides amazingly well with our new-found financial prowess. If it happens and under the circumstances the reports claim it could happen then all we can do is stand up and applaud the mighty Wenger.

Even if he doesn’t come back it seems Arsenal will benefit from it regardless.

Arsène, you wily old dog you.

Thanks for reading! Please comment on this post, subscribe by email, share with friends and follow me on twitter (@thedanielcowan). Please check out the official NLIR Facebook page for news, views, freebies and more.

Advertise your business here! Click here for details .

About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

30 Responses to “The Return of Cesc? Thank Wenger The Wily Dog”

  1. bc says:

    Its also rumoured that we have a similar deal in place with song. So why not let’s just shop in barcelona? Valdes song cesc and villa that would pretty much solve all our problems in one trip. I am not sure valdes is the keeper we need but he is better than fabianski and mannone. Valdes could work with szczesney and martinez. In alex song we would have either the 4th choice CB that we need or the DM presence that we have lacked, if he can learn to just sit in front of the back 4. Cesc well we all know about his creativity and his new found ability to play the false no.9 whilst villa would give us an experienced striker who simply loves putting the ball in the net. I reckon we could nail all 4 for around £60m but with what barca still owe us that would come down to about £50m we could even thrown in vermaelen nd get that down to around £35m whilst picking up abidail on a free if the legs haven’t gone.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I like the way you think.

    • Obie says:

      I swear,I literarilly drooled when I read your comment.You’re an eternal optimist who will never see the cup half-empty.I like that.

    • ben says:

      So heart warming

    • L W P says:

      Why would you want to see song and fabregas back in the same starting line up at arsenal. Neither can defend with resilience and we will be back to the arsenal of a few years ago… Beating teams comfortably then losing/drawing (but ultimately dropping points) when things go against us!

      Best example: 4-0 against Newcastle… Diaby sent off… Fabregas and song intimidated = 4-4
      2-0 against west brom… Mertesacker sent off… West brom throw everything forward/ arsenal defend with heart = 2-1 win

  2. crispen says:

    In Wenger we have always trusted!!!

  3. joe says:

    Good business great manager; and the clowns want to kick him out. Enough said wonder what will be said if RVP goes back to the treatment table and never plays at his best again hmmm.

    • ONE SWEET LEFT says:

      seems a bit nasty predicting a career threatening injury on any player, a supporter of Arsenal and the players we have dosen’t have to bitch other teams or other team’s players.

  4. Ted says:

    If all the report about the clauses in fab’s deal are true, fans would have to thank Wenger and the start of this new era in Arsenal would be led by no one better than Captain fab!! Go go gunners!!!

    • Les Crang says:

      There’s only one spaniard who should be captain of Arsenal. Arteta has been awesome

  5. Peter Idowu says:

    Bring back Fabregas. Welcome to your real home. Emmirate, home of stars.

  6. Izik says:

    Great job Wenger.How tactical u are.Bring him back & sign Jevotic,Wanyama,& Ashley Williams

  7. Chess says:

    This is just Arsenal fans dreaming. Yes we have first refusal to buy back but it certainly would not be set at £25m (£10m below what Barca paid for him). Yes we get a % of sale (more likely 10%, not 50%).
    Finally, Cesc is going nowhere, he will stay at Barca and to be honest I hope he does. We need a DMF and a left midfielder. Cesc should not be brought back to replace Cazorla or Wilshere.

  8. Nir says:

    What a wonderful piece to read and be optimistic. Its a win-win scenario either way if Barca decides to sell him. But for now, as it seems, we are in very strong position to get Cesc back. Love you Wenger, Cesc and Daniel et al.

  9. Jonny says:

    Nice piece with the proviso that it’s all rather dreamy guess work.

    IF Wenger has managed to get Barca to agree to that – well, naturally, that it is yet more brilliant business. Such is the man, it wouldn’t necessarily surprise me but then it is still just unsubstantiated twitterverse rumour and a rather big IF at that.

    I am not yet convinced Barcelona are ready to sell but if they do we would be foolish not to take first option.

    If he were to go to Man Utd he had better grow some very thick skin. There will be outrage of a type that would make the RVP backlash look akin to kindergarten teasing.

  10. ben says:

    I hope all or part of this clauses are false…if not ,then give it to Monsiur Mr Wenger…he is the DON DADA!

  11. Jon Shay says:

    The more I think about it, the more impressed I get. Sure, selling for 35m hurt as we certainly should’ve have gotten more. However, if he returns, we still come out with a profit of 10-15m. Not fantastic, but worth a mention. If he goes somewhere else, it’ll be for something like 50m, and if we get half, we’ve netted close to 60m for our troubles.

  12. Nathan says:

    Not happening. Please quit propagating this story.

    Why would Cesc be sold by Barca?

    Why would Cesc want to leave Barca?

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Propagating, HA! Please tell me you spend all day telling every tweeter, blogger, journo etc etc out there the same thing and you haven’t just posted this on my site alone?

      I think you’ll find that the story isn’t about Cesc returning as such. It doesn’t say “he’s definitely coming home” or “woohoo we’re buying Cesc” – it says that IF the reports are true regarding his availability or desire to leave AND IF the reports are regarding the supposed clauses (see how none of this nor the blog is using definitive language) then that makes Wenger a genius and he should be applauded. IF.

      Now please stop propagating this notion that I have suggested Cesc will in fact be returning. Thanks.

    • Nathan says:

      Yes, I tell every tweeter that exact same thing. Every one. No but seriously, you used ‘if’ three times in that response. So ‘if’ we dont get Cesc back, what does that make Wenger? You cant possibly excuse him for the terrible transfers dealings over the past 4 years? Can you?

      And I guess my true question is: Do you really think this is going to happen?

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      My if response to Cesc depends on what happens. If he goes somewhere else I be mightily annoyed. If he stays at Barça it won’t even register because we moved on 2 years ago.

      The way I view Cesc now is the same as any other world-class player; he’d be nice to have at Arsenal. His previous connection just makes him less of a risk.

      I don’t agree that our transfers have been abysmal.

      If you’re telling almost everyone you see/hear talking about Cesc the same thing then you must be doing it full-time. I suggest getting a different hobby.

  13. pedantic george says:

    I love the sentiments but question the Maths.
    Surely it would be 50% of the profit(like with Bentley) not 50% of the fee?

  14. Tanya Martinez says:

    I love Arsenal. I love Wenger. This year, champions.

  15. George says:

    Definitely one of my favourite articles by you. Great piece!

  16. George says:

    Can you explain the sell-on clause thing?

    Would it mean if they bid 25m, they’d get 12.5m of that back, and he’d only cost 12.5m?

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I have no idea mate. I was just commenting on something I read in the papers. I don’t believe most of it to be fair but it got me thinking that if it were true then Arsène is a wily old dog for insisting on those clauses.

  17. faisal sabri says:

    if we get Cesc then we dont need Jovetic. its Higuain what we need.
    -VCC, Arsenal Indonesia Supporter-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

facebook comments: