The Return of Cesc? Thank Wenger The Wily Dog
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.
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.
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.
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.
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