Once one of the undisputed heroes of Arsenal, the ammunition for the Gunners forward line. It seem’s the assault rifle that was Cesc Fabregas has become nothing more than a paltry water gun for a Barcelona team who are pushing on without him. Has his dream move become nothing short of a nightmare?
Looking back over a year ago, Cesc Fabregas was considered on of world footballs best stars. At just 24 years of age at the time, he was only just preparing to enter his prime as he finally sealed a return dream move to Barcelona. Having made his name at Arsenal since 2004, the Spaniard left the Premier League as one of its best ever players, and continued his rich form for the Catalan giants, scoring eight goals in twelve appearances, and contributing five assists on top.
Since the turn of the year though. Fabregas has fallen from grace rather spectacularly at club level. From January until September 2012. The 25 year old has played 19 games for Barcelona, however he has only scored a measly single goal with three assists. He has gone from one of the key midfield stars in the Catalan midfield, to the bench warmer many fans suspected he would be when he initially joined.
Should he have stayed at Arsenal? He has gone from being the third highest rated player in La Liga, to nothing more than a constant substitute, both under previous boss Guardiola, and under current manager Vilanova.
It’s not like Barcelona are missing having his services on a consistent basis in midfield either, they still have the remarkable talents of Xavi and Ineista, and of course not forgetting the world class Messi. On top of this Barcelona still have the raw but rapidly growing talent of both Sanchez and Tello, leaving open spaces in the Catalan midfield very few and far between.
Of course Arsenal weren’t going to stand in the way of Fabregas making his dream return to his hometown club, he had been an excellent servant for the Gunners in his seven years there, scoring 35 goals, and accumulating 82 assists in 212 league appearances. Arsene Wenger clearly felt that he couldn’t delay the move any longer. As the common saying goes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side though. Now Fabregas finds himself at risk of becoming the outcast of a bustling Barcelona midfield.
Arsenal may have the likes of Carzola and Arteta in their ranks now, incredible players in their own right, but their is a reason Fabregas was Spains youngest capped player in 70 years. His ability is undoubted around the world, as he showcased at Euro 2012. It seems though, that not being constantly under the spotlight, amongst a star studded side in Spain is having an adverse affect on his confidence, and subsequently his playing ability.
Had he stayed at Arsenal, perhaps his story would be different. Adored by the Gunners faithful, Fabregas was far and away their star player. The attention was on him on a constant basis, and he thrived under it, being the shining light for a team that regularly displays much promise, but little reward. Had he stayed last season, he would have had the pleasure of providing an aplomb of assists to Robin Van Persie, who had finally overcome his injury issues.
Playing for Arsenal didn’t affect his international chances, being a regular for the side dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid stars, now he is amongst their ranks however, he may find his call-ups become increasingly barren.
At 25 years of age, Cesc Fabregas has his whole career still in front of him, and with his form eroding at Barcelona, perhaps a return to Arsenal would see him once again become one of the worlds most feared midfielders. He may have won a lot of trophies since his move, but if he returned and became the star to end Arsenals barren run, that would be more of an achievement then what he has achieved at Barcelona.
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